New Omaha rink to be named Baxter Arena after local car dealership

Nebraska-Omaha’s new arena that will open in October will be called Baxter Arena.

UNO announced Wednesday it has entered into an agreement with Baxter Auto for naming rights for the arena that will serve as the new home for the hockey, basketball and volleyball teams, as well as community events.

The announcement was made at a ceremony at the Baxter Arena featuring remarks from Baxter Auto president Mickey Anderson as well as University of Nebraska Board of Regents member Howard Hawks, UNO chancellor John Christensen and UNO vice chancellor for athletics Trev Alberts.

Today, Baxter Auto employs more than 1,700 people across 21 dealerships in Omaha, Lincoln and Kansas City, offers new and used cars from 19 different car manufacturers and is one of Nebraska’s largest employers.

“We are extremely pleased to partner with a business, and a family, that has been so influential to UNO and the Omaha community for the past 60 years,” Hawks said in a statement. “We could not have made Baxter Arena a reality without key supporters like the Anderson family.”

Baxter Auto secured the arena naming rights through a $400,000 annual value for a 10-year term and is renewable.

“Baxter Auto, and particularly the Anderson family, have been outstanding corporate citizens in Omaha and great supporters of UNO Athletics for decades,” Alberts added. “We are grateful to partner with an iconic Omaha company.”

UNO announced plans to build its first on-campus arena, located just next to Aksarben Village, in Oct. 2012 and construction began in late 2013.

“When I think back to when I first took over as chancellor, compared to where I am now – standing in front of Baxter Arena – I can’t help but associate that progress with families like the Andersons,” Christensen said. “They have not only been supporters of UNO financially, but have provided invaluable guidance and advice about how to make UNO the best campus it can be.”

Baxter Arena will seat 7,500 people and officially open with the first UNO hockey home game on Friday, Oct. 23, as the Mavericks take on Air Force.