The University of Alaska Anchorage hockey team will be returning to campus, playing its 40th anniversary season in the Wells Fargo Sports Complex, according to a school press release.
The hockey team previously played at the 6,290-seat Sullivan Arena, and had done so for decades, but budget concerns are forcing the Seawolves back on campus and into a much smaller venue.
While the Wells Fargo Sports Complex the day-to-day home for the hockey program, (the team practices there, and coaches offices, team locker rooms and sports medicine facilities are located there) the facility’s ice rink has seating for only 750. The facility also serves multiple recreation functions with a gym, a swimming pool, two fitness centers and a dance studio.
“We believe the future of Seawolf hockey is bright,” athletic director Gregy Myford said in the release. “We are working hand-in-hand with the Municipality of Anchorage and Sullivan Arena management to create a smooth transition. Our intent is to play in our on-campus sports complex starting in the fall, while we finalize plans to expand that facility over the next few years.”
State budget cuts have increased financial pressures on the program, leading them to relocate from Sullivan Arena after more than 30 years of serving as UAA’s hockey home.
“The Sullivan is home to many wonderful memories for hundreds of our former players and thousands of Seawolf hockey fans who attended games there over the years,” Myford said. “We remain grateful to the Municipality of Anchorage for more than 30 years of home ice partnership.”
In the meanwhile, Myford said that the on-campus complex will provide an exciting game day atmosphere for the hockey program.
“Given the current budget climate in Alaska and the university’s commitment to men’s ice hockey, the WCHA supports this move and views it as a step towards strengthening the long-term viability of the Alaska Anchorage men’s hockey program,” WCHA commissioner Bill Robertson said of the move.