By Shane Dale for ABC15 Arizona
According to ASU Athletic Director Ray Anderson, the Sun Devils aren’t out of options, either.
“We have additional options that we are pursuing, and we will do so aggressively,” Anderson said Feb. 13 during an ASU media luncheon. “(As) part of bringing on our hockey program and elevating it to varsity NCAA Division I status, we made promises that we would provide a conference affiliation appropriately and we would (play) our home games in an appropriate Division I-caliber facility, so we are going to deliver on those promises.”
The nullified Coyotes-ASU arena deal would have had both teams playing in new arenas in time for the 2019-20 hockey season. Anderson said he intends to stick to that timeline.
ASU’s hockey team joined the NCAA Division I ranks last season but still play their home games in an arena far smaller than the average NCAA D-I venue, as Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe has a seating capacity of less than 800. The proposed joint arena venue with the Coyotes would have given the Sun Devils a 4,000-seat arena.
Anderson also discussed the renovation of Wells Fargo Arena, where the Sun Devil men’s and women’s basketball teams play. He said such a renovation could be done in conjunction with an adjacent hockey arena on ASU’s campus.
“I think we’re pressed more on the hockey multi-purpose arena, if you will, than Wells Fargo. It may be done in conjunction with that or it may be done as a subsequent separate project.”
Anderson said it’s also possible, albeit unlikely, that ASU hockey and basketball could eventually share an arena space. “Some people would tell you by design, an architectural perspective, that it may not be the best fan experience.”
Read more at ABC15 Arizona.
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