The Crookston Civic Arena located on the banks of the Red Lake River at 220 Robert St. E in Crookston Minnesota opened in 1937 initially with one rink called the Winter Sports Arena featuring natural ice and a vintage domed wood truss barrel roof with wooded beams throughout the arena. The arena was made possible by the Minnesota Works Progress Administration and was officially dedicated on October 14, 1938. Crookston's Winter Sports Arena was the direct outgrowth of efforts of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion to find a place in which to hold meetings of their respective posts. First they attempted to obtain a room in the National Guard Armory: failing in this, members of the two veterans' organizations then proposed that the basement of the City Hall be remodeled and turned over to them. This effort, too, failed of realization and member of the Legion and the V. F. W. then met with the Crookston Association of Public Affairs and suggested that a building for recreational purposes be constructed, with quarters provided for meetings of Boy Scouts, Campfire Girls, the Legion and V. F. W. posts. Some time later, both veterans' organizations met again with the Crookston Association and member of the Crookston City Council. Works Progress Administration officials from Second District, Detroit Lakes, attended this meeting, at which the veterans suggested that a special election be held on a bond issue proposal to finance the sponsor's cost toward erection of what became the Winter Sports Arena. The city council agreed to hold the election, provided that the Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars obtained the service without charge of election judges and the free use of the polling places. Accepting the challenge, the Legion and V. F. W. promptly obtained free service of the judges and rent-free use of polling places. The special election was conducted on May 5, 1937, and resulted in one of the largest majorities in favor of a bond issue ever recorded in Crookston's history.