Andy BILLINGHAM, Marian HUTNAN
Kosice people can be proud of the Arena
U. S. Steel Corporation Executive Vice-president and Chief Operating Officer John H. Goodish spent a couple of days in Kosice last week, during which he found time
to meet people from the Kosice Arena Civic Association, and to see a hockey game. This was a good reason for Ocel Vychodu to speak with him, and take him back a few months.
· Mr. Goodish, do you remember where you were a year ago, on February 16th 2006?
Over there (smiling, he points towards the area above the home fans sector in the Steel Arena). I was up there with my wife Kitty and more people from the works and from HC Kosice for a meeting
· Yes, the official opening of the Steel Arena was approaching, but people were still busy at work in there. That's when you were presented with the Steel Arena Founder's Chair
as a memento and an expression of gratitude, where you are going to sit for the first time today (for the HC Kosice - MSHK Zilina match on February 13th - Ed.). If you compare the state of the
Arena then and today, what are your feelings?
It's an amazing difference. Coming back after a year and seeing this number of people, but above all the result of all the work on this stadium, it's a remarkable and unusual feeling. The people
of Kosice can be proud of what they've got. It's a fantastic stadium.
· At that time, a year ago, you said that after the U. S. Steel - VSZ joint venture in 1998 and the big acquisition in 2000, you considered the completed stadium as your "third
child". Is it growing and taking the right direction?
I'm still proud of it. How could somebody not be proud of what they can see here? The interior, the score-board, I mean the info-cube, the sky-boxes, the whole stadium... It's first class. You
just have to be proud of something like this.
· The games in the Steel Arena between HC Kosice and the leading teams in the Slovakian ice-hockey Extra-league are regularly sold out, and thanks to this beautiful stadium
we've had the highest attendances since it opened. What do you say about the atmosphere during a hockey match in the Steel Arena? Is it comparable with the atmosphere in the Mellon Arena with the
It's just the same as in our stadiums. The fans here are also single-minded and enthusiastic, and they support their team no matter who they're playing.
· You're also an honorary member of the Kosice Arena Civic Association, and you have free entry to all events in the Steel Arena. I know it's difficult to arrange free time as
well as work, but what sort of event would you most like to use your free ticket for?
Ice-hockey games are at the top of my chart, and it'll probably stay that way too. When I was still in Kosice I used to go to every match. Today we've been to Serbia, and we landed only shortly
before the beginning of this match, but we came here straight from the airport, to the Arena, so that I can be at the hockey again. This is my first whole game in the Steel Arena.
· How do you spend your free time? Can you still find enough for your farming?
I have 143 head of cattle. And the combination of my own land with what I rent makes 340 acres altogether (almost 150 hectares - Ed.). Between March and May we're expecting an additional fifty
· Your position in the Corporation requires a lot of time, but you have to find time as well for such a big farm. How do you manage to balance it?
My wife Kitty helps me at the weekends. She's very active. It's all on our shoulders then. During the week two people help us on the farm itself, and we've got two in admin as well. Fitting
working responsibilities, commitment and time together with work on the farm is very, very difficult. Friday early evening we get to the farm, and at the end of the weekend, on Sunday evening or
on Monday. morning, we move back to the city. We spend all our weekends at the farm, every free moment.