UAA Seawolves Games Move to UAA Sports Center

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As of 2019, the UAA Seawolves will be playing at the UAA Sports Center for their NCAA hockey games.

However, unlike the general assumption that the move was due to cuts to UAA’s budget, the move had nothing to do with budget reductions.

Lea Bouton, a Dimond Chemistry and Engineering teacher, as well as president of the UAA Alumni Association Board of Directors, said, “[UAA] had been in contact negotiations I believe for the last two years.”

Bouton said, “This happened before budget cuts,” and that, “It was mostly that they were unable to come to an agreement with the Sullivan Arena over ice space.”

However, this move will not be a complete surprise for a of the UAA campus. 

Bouton said, “There has been a movement to get it back on campus because it’s the only sport that doesn’t play on campus.”

The rink on the UAA campus was also an impetus for moving the games back to UAA, and Bouton said, “The fact that we have a hockey rink on campus makes it really hard to spend money when we already have a venue like that.”

The announcement about the move went up over Memorial Day Weekend according to Bouton.                                                                

The UAA letter said, “As the UAA sport enters its 40th year, the university plans to return play to campus with homes games at the [former] Wells Fargo sports Complex. The decision 

comes as increasing financial constraints due to state budget cuts requires the university to evaluate its venue needs.”

However, this message notably came before Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s budget cuts.    

Still, the slashing of UAA’s budget will damage much of the university. However, ot every UAA student is worried about the cuts.

Warren Garner, a Dimond senior who plans to begin studying at UAA next year said, “If the budget cuts are done for the reason that I think they are, of making it so that we don’t go further into debt, I think it’s fine. I think that UAA has 13 to 17 campuses across the state and I don’t know if that’s necessarily required.

“I know it’s nice to have, but if you don’t have the money to spend then you just don’t spend that much.”

Garner was somewhat reluctant at the idea of removing UAA sports teams, and said, “I don’t do sports in college, but I wouldn’t want them to cut the sports teams.”

Kathleen Navarre, a Dimond mathematics teacher, Dimond Athletic Director sports coach, said, “I think UAA as far as cost of ice and all of that, that the Sullivan Arena, what it cost to keep ice in that facility or have ice for the remainder of the hockey season was too expensive. And so the remainder of the hockey season was too expensive.”
However, the UAA rink is not the only are a concern for UAA athletics.

Navarre said, “They were going to cut sports completely, so they had to look at ways to save money.”

In fact UAA barely managed to avoid major cuts to its sports program, and will on the governor’s chopping block once again on one university school year.

Navarre said, “There were some rallies and everything. They were going to completely get rid of sports.

“And then there was, with UAF and UAA, there was talk about combining them and making one team, and where it would be housed. And so with all the budget cuts this last year, that was one of the things they talked about, was canceling all sports completely at UAA.”

With the University’s budget in limbo and talk of completely removing the UAA sports program, it seems UAA hockey must adapt to their new rink in order to survive.