Let's talk about arenas shall we? I don't really want to but there's a hubbub. It's not something I'm fond of doing as my blogging style lends itself more to the rant & rave milieux. Getting a dumb parking ticket at the University while trying to delve into the whole issue doesn't exactly get my juices flowing so expect this to be my personal next to last words on the subject. My last words with regard to arenas will be an announcement of an on campus standalone arena for UAA Hockey. I will now endeavor to simplify the process here for everyone's mutual benefit and edification.
Here's the relevant links to catch everyone up as to the points of discussion. Click them, read and listen before proceeding. Eric Tuott wrote a Compass piece in the ADN which I highlighted here. As a follow-up he appeared on KENI's Mike Porcaro radio show last Friday to discuss the issues. Dr. Cobb appeared on the same show yesterday also discussing the issues. And there's also been a bit of commentary here on the blog.
And that's where we are. Allow me to start here by stating the primary goal; an on campus standalone arena for UAA hockey. It has been my preference for years and years now and I think everyone else's as well. So ... Can we stipulate that? I sure hope so. I can't imagine a supporter of the UAA Hockey program that wants something less than that. With that in mind the other concepts floating around are simply less than satisfactory. Right? Refurbishing and upgrading the Sullivan Arena clearly doesn't meet the goal. And redesigning the existing proposed SCFEBH (Sports Center For Everything But Hockey) doesn't either. Right?
Ok, now that we're all agreed (and of course, if you don't agree with that basic premise ... say so in the comments section), how exactly do we get what we want? Should we all email the UAA Administration? No. They want the same thing. Nobody at UAA wants anything less. Repeat. Nobody at UAA wants anything less than an on campus standalone quality facility for UAA Hockey to play their home games. Nobody. Not the players, not the coaching staff, not Athletic Director Dr. Steve Cobb, not his boss Director of Administration Bill Spindle nor his bosses Chancellor Case or even his boss President Pat Gamble ... they ALL want and are working for exactly that ... an on campus standalone hockey arena. Repeating for emphasis ... nobody at UAA wants anything less. If you think they do ... you are wrong. Sorry.
So who makes shit happen at the University? Two bodies ... the University Of Alaska Board of Regents and the State of Alaska Legislature. I'm not going to bother today to provide you all with email addresses to your state legislators. As involved citizens you should already know those or at least know how to find them. But I am going to give you the names, email addresses and phone numbers of each and every Regent below. If you want to make something happen (um ... like a standalone on campus hockey rink for UAA) then this is the place to start.
Mary K. Hughes
There it is folks. Above are the people you need to contact, lobby, pressure, harass, cajole, push and/or light fire under to move forward toward getting a standalone on campus hockey arena for UAA. These are the movers and shakers that determine what priorities are addressed with regard to capital projects within the University system.
Now that said, I'm sure lots of you are skeptical about the Board of Regents. Like you, I've seen them time and again favor the the Fairbanks campus with projects while ignoring the larger Anchorage campus' needs. Well guess what? They respond to public pressure. Even if they are (and I'm not proposing this is the case) biased with regard to UAF ... they cannot ignore a continuous stream of contact from a large group of people demanding that a long standing problem be rectified appropriately.
So if you really want a standalone on campus hockey arena for UAA ... then you know what to do. Talking about it below, emailing folks at UAA and/or commenting on Compass pieces at the ADN ain't gonna do shit. The UAA Hockey program deserves nothing less than a quality standalone on campus hockey arena.