Sunday, September 26, 2010

New Hockey Facility Looks Promising

After going away for the weekend I came home to find pleasant news in my in-box.

Multiple reports came out Friday night that the the proposed new UW Hockey Facility has been put back on track.

This past March the facility was put on hold when Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez cited a lack of progress in gift funds. In the article I linked from March, Alvarez said they were $2 million dollars short of their goal or $8 million in gift funds.

According to Wisconsin State Journal writer Andy Baggot, "UW athletic director Barry Alvarez said Friday that a "very good'' surge of gift funds has put it back on track."

The news is encouraging for Wisconsin hockey fans. The facility which will be used as a practice and game facility for the women's hockey program and a practice facility for the men should provide a huge boost in recruiting which is a huge step in assuring that both the men and women's programs at Wisconsin remain amongst the NCAA's elite.

With men's and women's basketball as well as men's and women's hockey teams all being full time tenants of the Kohl Center, practice time at the facility can be tricky. Currently, the men's program practices the majority of the time at the Bob Johnson hockey facility which is 3 miles away from campus. Having a full time on campus practice facility adjacent to the Kohl Center is LONG overdue.

Additionally, a game facility for the women will provide them a home that they can call their own. I'm not positive but as far as I know, the University of Minnesota is the only women's program in the country to have a women's only hockey game facility. The projected facility should provide the Wisconsin women with a home second to none in the country.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Jeff Potrykus notes, "UW officials hope to obtain construction approval next month from the Board of Regents and the State Building Commission."

If approved, construction on the 2,400-seat rink will begin in the upcoming spring of 2011 with the project scheduled to be ready for the 2012 hockey season.
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