Tuesday, February 13, 2007

New Arena: The Skinny

Last summer in this post I talked about a new arena for UAA under the assumption that nobody important was thinking about much less planning for an on campus arena. I quickly found out I was wrong and since that time there has been planning and I understand the University is scheduled to make some sort of announcement sometime this spring. If you click on the picture above it will enlarge and you can see the location of the new arena along with a couple of other landmarks for reference. Not long after my intial post about this subject I was pointed to this webpage and this document (14.2Mb PDF) which as you can see is the long term Masterplan. A short scroll to the 2nd page of the "concept" PDF shows the configuration and initial timelines for some of the additions campuswide.

From what I hear and read I'd guess somewhere between 7,000 and 10,000 seat arena in use within the next 6 years (by 2013) is the goal of the Athletic Department. There's obviously a lot of expansion planned when you spend anytime perusing the Masterplan. There's a fair amount of speculation and I'll try to leave that up to others. But it is clear this proposal is in it's early stages. Funds for planning and design are budgeted/planned this year ($1,000,000). Hopefully, the powers that be regarding timelines and priorities (Regents, Admins, Alumni and Community) find the need for UAA Sports programs to share a home of their own an important consideration. It's clear reading through the Masterplan that a desire to create a more student-centric campus is a desire and a new arena would certainly be one of the goals of that entire effort. The assumption amongst many fans is that UAA plans to move to Division 1 in all sports and a new arena supports that effort. It's important to not get confused by the effort to build a new arena and the planned expansion/retrofit of the Wells Fargo Sports Center. They are two separate efforts. So I have to believe that getting it all done within 6 years is probably a reasonable estimate.

I've added a photo below that gives some context to those not as familiar with the Anchorage area as those of us that live here.

9 comments:

dude said...

This is a priority of the "brass" at UAA. There is a lot of enthusiasm with the higher-ups. I see this being fast-tracked and I see it in 5-6 years tops. I can't wait to see an Artists rendering of the place. I know that they want suites, a "real" press area, and some additional items. I just hope that they keep the Olympic Sheet.

Jimjamesak said...

I just want to see shovels hitting dirt. Until then, I'll go about my life.

suze said...

I'm sure it will be Olympic ice. Dr. Cobb told me that it is expandable to 10,000 seats because if Anchorage wants to bid for the winter Olympics the need a venue that large.

Anonymous said...

Its closer to campuse but is it close enough to get the lazzy alcholic students from the dorm to get off there ass's and go to the game?

Donald said...

Building an on campus "atmosphere" or environment that is any way similar to the environs at many or most of the schools UAA plays against is a long term project. There are lots of things the school has to accomplish to further that goal. Changing a "culture" takes time. The Arena will be a piece of the pie.

Jimjamesak said...

Well considering they plan on building new dorms next to it I say it shouldn't be too much of problem getting students there.

As for changing the culture. I addressed that on my blog. :P

jjack said...

Regarding an artist's rendering...I have a buddy who used to work in the cage downstairs at the W.F. sports center. He mentioned something about seeing a concept model for a new sports arena.

I don't know if I just invented this in a drunken stupor, or if this was something from a long time ago, or what, so take my words with a grain of salt. Just pointing out that this poker may have been in the fire for a lot longer than we all realize.

Daniel said...

This is very encouraging/exciting. The sully is what..? 27 years old and not getting any newer. It would be awesome if UAA could actually host the shootout in its own modern facility with expanded seating (=more revenue). And the most exciting part of all though would be UAA going D1. I really hope this does happen on the scale that it is proposed. I just see some traffic concerns though: Bragaw would need to be widened/expanded, and Tudor from Lk Otis to Boniface is already hell. The only downside I see to this is it demotivates the city to replace the aging Sully because it can say that UAA's new center would undercut the need for one.

Anonymous said...

if you read close enough their will be NO hockey rink. just other stuff. way to go uaa hockey, and you wonder why alaskan kids dont want to play for UAA

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