Thursday, October 25, 2007

Active Thursday Reading

Writing is a sedentary sport. There's two things moving around. My eyes and my fingers. Reading usually only requires your eyes. Today though I'm asking something specific of you beyond eyeball movement and comprehension. This thread regarding the proposed new arena over at The UAA Fan Forum is the genesis for this post. With the run-up to the season and my generally busy fingers I hadn't thought much about the arena. One of the fine folks who comments here sporadically mentioned this a while back and my thought was," cool, thanks for mentioning it; I've already forward my thoughts." But that was it. I should have dedicated a post to the whole thing and didn't. I'm rectifying that now.

There's a lot to say about the new rink without mentioning the budget cutting drama that we went through over the summer. I first mentioned a new Arena back in July 2006 when I had no idea it was being considered. In February of this year I posted an update which included a link to the "masterplan" which talked about the arena. Then in April (thanks to Wolfman who BTW is soon to be on his way to lovely Iraq) I posted the preliminary drawings. Since that time the Governor vetoed some requested funds saying that UAA had the money already. So the UAA Administation moved forward and the planning process is still underway. More important than any of that stuff (which we all pretty already know) is this page at Go Seawolves which says:
UAA Chancellor Fran Ulmer has created a planning team to develop a comprehensive plan for determining location, design, funding, construction, operation, traffic and parking, and other assorted elements associated with a multi-use sports arena. Bill Spindle, interim vice chancellor for administrative services, heads the planning team. The planning process is expected to take up to one year to complete.

"We will involve the UAA family, our neighbors and the Anchorage community in this process,” said Chancellor Ulmer. “Construction of a sports complex to meet both the needs of our students and the Municipality is an important step in strengthening community partnerships and developing the Anchorage campus.”

Preliminary discussions within the UAA athletic community have occurred over the past several years, the result of which are several preliminary sports complex and arena concepts. Artists’ renderings, available online at, show some of the designs the planning committee will consider.
The preamble to all that is why I'm writing today. It says (in nice bold type):
UAA is interested in your thoughts, concerns & ideas regarding the proposed new multi-use sports arena.
Between that preamble and the announcement above is the meat of the matter. It's a link to an email address which I'm hoping that each of my fine regular readers will exercise after reading this sentence. The email address is:
So if you're reading this sentence then I'm assuming that you've opened your email application or webmail site and that you've typed in the address and added your thoughts in support of the arena then hit the "SEND" button. Chancellor Fran Ullmer is hoping that you have. Arena Planning Administrator Bill Spindle would like to hear from you. And I've no doubt that Athletic Director Steve Cobb wants your input. The entire community of UAA athletes and staff need you to do this. Building this arena isn't a process that happens without community input and support.

So I'm asking that today you become an Active Reader and participate in the process. Tell 'em all what you think. If the Arena can't be built fast enough for you, tell them that. If you believe that it's important for the schools identity to provide quality facilities for its students and athletes, tell them that. If you want to see some specific feature incorporated into the joint, tell them that. If you want to see the facility named after the hockey programs founding father Brush Christiansen, tell them that. If you're the CEO of a large multinational corporation and you want to donate millions to help get it done, tell them that. If you're an alumni of the program and know how much it will benefit all sports at UAA, tell them that. If you're a Blueliner Booster Club member or just an itinerant fan and you're excited to get a quality venue, tell them that. If you're primarily an Aces fan and hope to see 10,000 people in a rink cheering during an ECHL season, tell them that. If you're a fan of college hockey in general and live in Minnesota, Colorado, Georgia, Maine or Timbuktu and you know a new UAA arena is a good thing for the sport in general, tell them that. Whether it's 10 words or 1000 lets fill up that email inbox eh?

With filling that inbox as a goal, I've created the leaflet to the left that I'm hoping to print and pass out at UAA games. I figure I've got somewhere around 500 readers. But every weekend around 8 times more people than that show up at the Sully to watch the team.

I thought printing something like the following and passing it out this weekend would be a good idea. Let me know if you're interested in helping in any way. Can you print a thousand? Help pay for a thousand? I figure 4 leaflets to a single 8 by 10 sheet and four people distributing them before the games is what's needed. Click on the picture to see a bigger picture of the leaflet. If you want to help email me or text me using the text widget. I don't know if we can get this done before this weekend's games but if we don't the next home games aren't until the end of November.

Doing this sort of thing isn't necessarily one of my strengths. I like to think of myself as mostly an idea guy; but I'm willing to do whatever legwork is necessary to help get as many emails into the planning committee's email inbox as possible. I'm hoping I have an active reader or two (or four) that feel this is a good idea and want to participate. Do I?


Suze said...

We always get to the games early, so count me in with helping. Maybe those other tables that sell the roster sheets could pass some out as well.

I'll touch base this weekend with you and give ya some money to help with the printing process.

Do we need to run the idea of handing the flyers out by the AD?

Anonymous said...

Rock on Donald, keep the ball rolling. My email has been sent as a former player 94-98.

Donald Dunlop said...

I dunno. The way I figure it is that what we're doing benefits them. I don't see how anyone could possibly object. But just in case, as soon as I'm done with this comment I'll send an email to Cobb. After that though I'm sitting back in the recliner and taking a nap.

Suze said...


We could have the flyers stuffed inside those player posters and roster sheets, and the yearbooks when they come out.

Wolfman said...


Thanks for you mention me and my deployment to Iraq. As you probably know, I am in training in Maryland for that reason. I am supposed to deploy first of December. As you also know, I am very passionate about the new arena project and it pains me not to help you with this. But, I am hoping that by the time I come back from Iraq, the process will be way ahead. Dr. Cobb certainly would like this project to move forward sooner than later, so any help you will give him will be a total blessing. I appreciate your dedication to make this project visible among UAA/hockey fan supporters.


Anonymous said...

Comments don't just have to be from the Anchorage community! All you parents out there, fire off some emails! Please!!

jjack said...

The only problem I can see is that some Sullivan Arena roughians might see the new arena as something that would put them out of a job and decided to pick on you.

Suze said...

I doubt the Sully employees read anything about UAA hockey online.

We're getting a good response on the USCHO. Lots of members have emailed me that they sent in an email. :)

EChky said...

The plans for the new complex look amazing, but that doesn't mean they have everything UAA will need, that's the main concern for the comments. I think everyone realizes that there's a need for the facilities, they just want to make sure they get it right. Anything handed out with the programs at the arena would have to go through someone from UAA. Don't see why they wouldn't want them to be passed out, besides them not being produced by the department. That would probably be what would stop them, they'd want them to be official from UAA. Nothing against the blog/forum/or your design, they're just not big on free advertising.

Donald Dunlop said...

I don't disagree with you and I might have actually enjoyed an exchange with someone who would have been stupid enough to try to stop us. Seeing as how there is no commercial benefit to the "advertising" we'd pass out and that it's just promoting something the University itself is promoting (ie. community involvement).

I almost wish I hadn't emailed Steve Cobb to ask him if he thought anyone would have any heartburn. His reply was that it was all good and that if anyone had a problem with it to refer them to him.

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