Alaska Anchorage announced Wednesday that in the fall of 2019, and for its 40th season fielding a hockey program, the team plans to return to campus with home games at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex.
According to a news release, the decision comes as increasing financial constraints due to state budget cuts require the university to evaluate its venue needs. For decades, the Sullivan Arena has been home to UAA.
“We believe the future of Seawolf hockey is bright,” said UAA director of athletics Greg Myford in a statement. “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.”
Myford also emphasized UAA’s firm commitment to Seawolf hockey.
The Wells Fargo Sports Complex is currently the practice home of Seawolf hockey. Coaches offices, sports medicine facilities and the team’s locker room and equipment are all located there.
“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 added. “We remain grateful to the Municipality of Anchorage for more than 30 years of home ice partnership.”
WCHA commissioner Bill Robertson also issued a statement in regards to the move:
“The University of Alaska Anchorage has notified the WCHA league office that it will move its home hockey games back on campus beginning with the upcoming 2019-20 season. At the same time, the university is finalizing a plan to expand seating at their Wells Fargo Sports Complex in the coming years.
“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.
“UAA athletics officials have assured us that the facility will meet all other WCHA and NCAA requirements for hosting league contests in time for the upcoming season and throughout the renovation process.
“The move should provide an improved atmosphere for Seawolves fans and student-athletes while raising the program’s profile on campus. The WCHA applauds these efforts and will work closely with the university throughout the renovation process to assure the facility meets all league and NCAA hosting requirements.”