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Anchorage, Alaska to explore possible 2026 Winter Bid


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Exotic and different sounds nice, but again, if you're the USOC, let alone the bid city itself, you also need to be practical. Is it practical to build facilities in a far-flung location (and yes polar bear, it is far flung.. there's a reason the term "continental United States exists") as opposed to having them be in a more accessible location for the long term? I think there will still be some hesitation in that regard. Getting people to attend an Olympics in virtually any location is not an issue. It's leaving a legacy there that people (particularly future athletes who would make use of the facilities) would come back for that's at issue. In that regard, I think it's still a weakness, not a strength, especially in a country with (in theory) other potential options that may have their own weaknesses, but still have an edge in terms of travel over Anchorage.

Anchorage's location is an undeniable strength when it comes to international electability. The northernmost Games. Never hosted (unlike Salt Lake). No baggage (unlike Denver).

You're arguing that Anchorage's location is a weakness in terms of legacy planning. I'm not convinced that even that is true. Because the continental US already has an abundance of training facilities, it isn't as though we are desperate for more -- something that couldn't be said in the eighties. The elite athletes who would use Anchorage's facilities are accustomed to flying around the world to train and compete. Many winter athletes travel all the way to New Zealand to train during the summer. Certainly Anchorage is closer to most of them than New Zealand. If your sport comes first, then you go wherever you need to go.

The biggest question for the USOC is "Do we have a candidate that can win?" If they find one or two where they believe the answer is "yes", the next question is how to develop a viable plan, including a long-term legacy. Personally, I don't see a problem with any of this for Anchorage. If they have the leadership, passion and vision to accomplish this, I think they're a strong option. Those are important "if's" and only time will tell, but I don't see any basis for writing them off because of their location.

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Sound's like somebody is feeling their pet host being in danger.

I don't know Anchorage and its area, so do not say it is not feasible to organize the Games here. I just check the size of the population... and saw that the size of the Metro is almost as big as the

I can't believe some of the replies that have rolled across this thing since I posted this thing! (( )) "Baron P. Myles IV book writer extraordinaire", I really, really hope the Olympics are held

I thot the US Ski Team trains in Chile in the off-season for the north. Do they get a better deal in NZ?

I know that snowboarders go to NZ. Chile still supports my point, though. If they can get to Chile, they can get to Anchorage.

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I know that snowboarders go to NZ. Chile still supports my point, though. If they can get to Chile, they can get to Anchorage.

Right. That's for the skiers...who after Figure Skating, probably have the MOST funding on their own. The thing is, they go there because off-season that's where the best snow and slopes are...and THOSE are venues with NO Maintenance costs. What the USOC knows...and that's because they subsidize the less glamorous sports (which use the 3 aforementioned BUILT venues -- long-track speedskating, ski jumps and bobsleigh/luge/skeleton track) is that between Lake Placid; Ellis, Wisconsin; Park City; Colorado Springs, Vancouver, Whistler and Calgary, those are enuf venues where the use by THOSE 3 disciplines and their federations make them worthwhile maintaining and operating. Whereas, if you build ANOTHER set in a farther place like Anchorage, outside of the lower 48, they will ALL get less use...therefore maintaining them will be MORE EXPENSIVE for each site...thereby also exposing them to closure...as what happened with the bobsleigh track outside Torino. The USOC pays the subsidies of the federations; thus I think they know what they speak of in regards to the earlier objections about Anchorage's distance insofar as training purposes. And of course, with the IOC cutting off the USOC's future funding feet, costs like these will be even more critical in the coming years.

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Anchorage's location is an undeniable strength when it comes to international electability. The northernmost Games. Never hosted (unlike Salt Lake). No baggage (unlike Denver).

You're arguing that Anchorage's location is a weakness in terms of legacy planning. I'm not convinced that even that is true. Because the continental US already has an abundance of training facilities, it isn't as though we are desperate for more -- something that couldn't be said in the eighties. The elite athletes who would use Anchorage's facilities are accustomed to flying around the world to train and compete. Many winter athletes travel all the way to New Zealand to train during the summer. Certainly Anchorage is closer to most of them than New Zealand. If your sport comes first, then you go wherever you need to go.

The biggest question for the USOC is "Do we have a candidate that can win?" If they find one or two where they believe the answer is "yes", the next question is how to develop a viable plan, including a long-term legacy. Personally, I don't see a problem with any of this for Anchorage. If they have the leadership, passion and vision to accomplish this, I think they're a strong option. Those are important "if's" and only time will tell, but I don't see any basis for writing them off because of their location.

I disagree.. I don't think it's that much of a given their location is a strength. Is the "northernmost games" really a useful narrative? I get there's a certain exoticism in going to a place most Americans probably aren't familiar and I agree that could be a selling point, but I still question it's practically. It's going to take more than leadership, passion, and vision to win. They're have a smaller metro population than Reno which you have constantly said lacks size and infrastructure. Are they ready, willing, and able to build 4 new indoor arenas and all the outdoor facilities? It's not just location that is an issue for Anchorage. That all said..

You say there is an abundance of training facilities and that this country isn't desperate for more (if that's the case though, why fight for a Winter Olympics in the United States at all). It's not like there are venues around every corner though. So if they're going to add another one, what's the sense in putting one outside of the continental United States? By my count, there's 4 sliding tracks in North America (Lake Placid, Park City, Whistler, and Calgary). If the USOC and a city are going to build another one, why put it way up past the 2 in Canada rather than somewhere more accessible in the lower 48? According to Wikipedia, there's 4 Olympic-size indoor speed skating ovals in North America (2 in Canada plus Salt Lake and that's West Allis, not Ellis). Same deal there. The point is that if you're going to put these types of facilities somewhere, why put them all the way up in Alaska instead of somewhere more conveniently located. Sure, I can get to Anchorage. But why would I want to go there to train instead of having that same facility built in Denver. And don't use the summer training sites as an example.. if I want to ski or snowboard during July and August, I have no choice but to go to somewhere in the southern hemisphere. During the northern winter, I can choose to train and compete someplace closer to home than Anchorage. Heck, from a lot of places on the east coast, I bet it's a shorter flight to Europe than it is to get to Anchorage.

So that's what they're up against. I'm not ready to write them off completely, but much like how we seem to want to emphasize the negatives of the cities they'd be up against, these are negatives they have to deal with. They need to find enough positives to out-weigh the negatives. Easier said than done. Not impossible by any means. In my mind though, I still think their location is a negative, not a positive. Let's agree to disagree on that point.

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In terms of practicality Anchorage may not be ideal, but in terms in electability, I think it is. When does the IOC totally vote on practicality anyway. In that sense, Anchorage's location is a positive. It has the potential of being our Lillehammer. Not so much bcuz it would be the "northernmost Games", but bcuz it would offer a mystiqueness & uniqueness about it. And truly give an ambience of a Winter Olympic Games.

anc-aerial-sunset-1.jpg?itok=K9Z64HuQ

anchorage+sunset.jpg

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In terms of practicality Anchorage may not be ideal, but in terms in electability, I think it is. When does the IOC totally vote on practicality anyway. In that sense, Anchorage's location is a positive. It has the potential of being our Lillehammer. Not so much bcuz it would be the "northernmost Games", but bcuz it would offer a mystiqueness & uniqueness about it. And truly give an ambience of a Winter Olympic Games.

It does almost seem like the type of presidential election where 1 party has a candidate that could win the general election, but he might not be able to win the primary. The Olympics aren't quite the same since it's 2 very different bodies of voters, but it still feels similar.

I know we here are constantly looking for an alternative to the usual 3 cities that preferably doesn't have the type of baggage we all associate with Salt Lake, Denver, and Reno-Tahoe. I just don't know that this is it. Apparently I'm in the majority about location. But let's remember also.. the `92 and `94 Olympics that Anchorage was bidding for were on a smaller scale than what they'd be looking at now. Yea, it would be nice for an Olympics (not just in the United States, but anywhere) gave us the same warm feelings we got from Lillehammer. But there's a reason there hasn't been another setting like Lillehammer since those `94 games.

Anchorage has very little in terms of current infrastructure to offer so almost everything has to be built new. Is that something they're capable of pulling off? This isn't Sochi or Alpensia we're talking about here. The United States doesn't need to essentially build a Winter Olympic setting from scratch to lure the Games.

So again, I'm not saying they can't pull it off. I would love to see what they have to offer. It's easy for us here to imagine a wonderful Olympics there. I don't know how well that's going to work in practice though.

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But they don't HAVE casinos!! :lol:

Yeah, really! They come up on the ballots every once in a while, but voters always shoot em down... O'well.. makes the trips to LV & Reno all the more fun! :P

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But let's remember also.. the `92 and `94 Olympics that Anchorage was bidding for were on a smaller scale than what they'd be looking at now. Yea, it would be nice for an Olympics (not just in the United States, but anywhere) gave us the same warm feelings we got from Lillehammer. But there's a reason there hasn't been another setting like Lillehammer since those `94 games.

Well, for starters, Anchorage is about 16x's the size of Lillehammer. I only used them in a figurative sense. And let's not forget that before the Swiss pulled the plug on 2022, with Davos & St. Moritz (which even combined are still a fraction of the size of Anchorage), they were being viewed as an early favorite & a big competitor to Munich. Not to mention that there are some prominent members here that would be gung-ho on an Ostersund Games (again here, only a fraction of the size of Anchorage).

And it's not like Sochi & PyeongChang are big metropolitan areas. One could argue that Seoul is not that far, but Sochi is roughly about the same size as Anchorage & there's not too much of note beyond them. And considering the other factors working against the other three U.S. winter hopefuls, I'd still say that Anchorage would have the edge in that category. Reno would have to build the venues as well, Salt Lake has already hosted, & Denver has the transportation issue to the mountain venues & the infamous '72 debacle.

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Well, for starters, Anchorage is about 16x's the size of Lillehammer. I only used them in a figurative sense. And let's not forget that before the Swiss pulled the plug on 2022, with Davos & St. Moritz (which even combined are still a fraction of the size of Anchorage), they were being viewed as an early favorite & a big competitor to Munich. Not to mention that there are some prominent members here that would be gung-ho on an Ostersund Games (again here, only a fraction of the size of Anchorage).

And it's not like Sochi & PyeongChang are big metropolitan areas. One could argue that Seoul is not that far, but Sochi is roughly about the same size as Anchorage & there's not too much of note beyond them. And considering the other factors working against the other three U.S. winter hopefuls, I'd still say that Anchorage would have the edge in that category. Reno would have to build the venues as well, Salt Lake has already hosted, & Denver has the transportation issue to the mountain venues & the infamous '72 debacle.

This is why I always say be careful comparing U.S. bids to those from other countries.. Switzerland offering a smallish city is different than the United States offering a smallish city. Because the US has larger cities capable of hosting an Olympics. And yea, Sochi is not a big metro area, but are we expecting any city in any country, let alone the United States, to do what they're doing? Plus even with Lillehammer, they're only around 2 hours away from the capital and largest city in the country.

So it comes down to what Anchorage's plans are. We shoot down Reno all the time because it sounds like they're less than willing to make major infrastructure improvements. Is Anchorage willing to do that? If they are, then it could work. But if we're talking about the amount of existing infrastructure to work with, even Reno looks like they have a decent amount compared to Anchorage. They need to invest a lot of money and resources into this. Like Athens said, there are a lot of "if's" involved in an Anchorage Olympics. I'd like to see a few of those questions answered before I'm looking at them as the potential front-runner in this.

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Well, yeah. A lot of this stuff always involves a lot of "if's". And I agree that Anchorage would have to invest a lot to get this done. But we don't know yet whether they will or they won't. But that's what the Exploratory Committee will eventually find out (just like Pittsburgh finally figured out what kind of money they had to get involved with for 2024 & said no thanks). But already the argument that's circling here against them is their "remote location". Let's wait to see what they have to offer first before making that final judgement.

And it's not like the U.S. really has a lot of other "larger" cities to host a *Winter* Olympics anyway. Apart from Denver, being the largest (& despite their negatives), there aren't really other large-ish options out there. Perhaps maybe Seattle or Portland, OR. But are they interested, that's always the biggest hurdle right there. And it's not like Anchorage is some Winter equivalent to Tulsa, far from it. I'd say they're the Summer equivalent to San Francisco or Boston. And Anchorage's metro isn't that much smaller than Reno's. They're not no timbuctu out in the middle of the frozen tundra.

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One of the problems for Anchorage is an Olympic Stadium. They currently have a 5,000 seat stadium and they may have to spend $500 million to upgrade. Plus several hundred million more for a lot of the venues.

This is a 'tiny' issue. Increasingly bidders and hosts like Istanbul and Pyeongchang are building temporary facilities for the ceremonies only.

There is already a small ski jumping site within the city limits which could be expanded and used as the site for the ceremonies - 50,000 seats for the games reduced to 20,000 seats afterwards.

As for the indoor venues, both Sochi and Pyeongchang are using at least one temporary venue.

Consider Sochi.

The Shayba Arena (7000 seats) will be relocated after the games

The Ice Skating Arena (12,000) seats may be converted into a velodrome.

Think of what Anchorage might do:

1. The Speed Skating Oval could imitate either Richmond and become a community venue or Turin and be used for conventions/shows etc

2. The Figure Skating Arena could be used to replace the Sullivan Arena post games

3. The No1 Ice Hockey Arena could be moved to Fairbanks and replace the Carlson Center or Big Dipper Ice Arena

4. The Sullivan Arena can serve as No2 Ice Hockey Arena and then demolished

5. The new University of Alaska Arena (non ice events) can be temporarily used to host the curling.

.... not sure why it is such an issue?

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What Anchorage could do is this:

Sullivan Arena - Ice Hockey II

University of Alaska Arena - Curling

And new venues:

Speed Skaing Oval/Multifunction Hall - Speed Skating and Short Track Speed Skating (via movable/temporary seating design, a la 1994 bid)

New Arena - Ice Hockey I/Figure Skating

This might work, and would negate the need of temporary arenas that would be pointlessly be proposed to be moved elsewhere.

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If Anchorage and their sponsors will supply the venues, I don't see why the USOC would have a problem. It's not like the USOC foots the bill for all of that. Going back to Salt Lake gives them little more than they've already got. Denver is right next door to Colorado Springs. Reno was going to make everything cheap temporary pop-ups anyway. So I don't see what the US has to lose with Anchorage.

I'm sure that it would be more convenient for many people if Anchorage were in the Midwest or on the east coast, but it's not. You have to start by looking at which cities can win, then you build the plan. A great legacy plan in an unelectable city is a non-starter. With the right team, Anchorage can win. I'd prefer to see them wait, but nobody's asking me. If the USOC decides to go for 2026, it's between Denver and Anchorage in my opinion.

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This is a 'tiny' issue. Increasingly bidders and hosts like Istanbul and Pyeongchang are building temporary facilities for the ceremonies only.

There is already a small ski jumping site within the city limits which could be expanded and used as the site for the ceremonies - 50,000 seats for the games reduced to 20,000 seats afterwards.

As for the indoor venues, both Sochi and Pyeongchang are using at least one temporary venue.

Consider Sochi.

The Shayba Arena (7000 seats) will be relocated after the games

The Ice Skating Arena (12,000) seats may be converted into a velodrome.

Think of what Anchorage might do:

1. The Speed Skating Oval could imitate either Richmond and become a community venue or Turin and be used for conventions/shows etc

2. The Figure Skating Arena could be used to replace the Sullivan Arena post games

3. The No1 Ice Hockey Arena could be moved to Fairbanks and replace the Carlson Center or Big Dipper Ice Arena

4. The Sullivan Arena can serve as No2 Ice Hockey Arena and then demolished

5. The new University of Alaska Arena (non ice events) can be temporarily used to host the curling.

.... not sure why it is such an issue?

What Anchorage could do is this:

Sullivan Arena - Ice Hockey II

University of Alaska Arena - Curling

And new venues:

Speed Skaing Oval/Multifunction Hall - Speed Skating and Short Track Speed Skating (via movable/temporary seating design, a la 1994 bid)

New Arena - Ice Hockey I/Figure Skating

This might work, and would negate the need of temporary arenas that would be pointlessly be proposed to be moved elsewhere.

Ahh yes, leave it to the bid planning team of gromit and Lord David.. Anchorage should consult you guys for their exploratory committee!

Remains to be seen if Anchorage will rely so heavily on temporary arenas. If they do, will the USOC want to back that plan? Also, be careful of the new UAA arena. Here is a rendering of it and I'm not sure they could handle a full-sized ice surface..

To that end..

If Anchorage and their sponsors will supply the venues, I don't see why the USOC would have a problem. It's not like the USOC foots the bill for all of that. Going back to Salt Lake gives them little more than they've already got. Denver is right next door to Colorado Springs. Reno was going to make everything cheap temporary pop-ups anyway. So I don't see what the US has to lose with Anchorage.

I'm sure that it would be more convenient for many people if Anchorage were in the Midwest or on the east coast, but it's not. You have to start by looking at which cities can win, then you build the plan. A great legacy plan in an unelectable city is a non-starter. With the right team, Anchorage can win. I'd prefer to see them wait, but nobody's asking me. If the USOC decides to go for 2026, it's between Denver and Anchorage in my opinion.

Because there's still potentially legacy issues. Which is more viable as training/competition venues going foward? It goes back to the logic that first brought Anchorage into the picture in the mid-80s.. is their location and advantage or disadvantage for both U.S. athletes as well as international sport bodies for winter sports that don't make a lot of trips to the United States. A legacy plan could go a long way towards determining whether a city is electable or not in the first place.

Once again, before my thoughts get twisted (as everyone's invariably do here).. I'm not against Anchorage and their efforts here. I'm merely questioning the issue of whether or not their location works for them or works against them. I just don't see it as a positive, but rather a hurdle that they'll need to find a way to overcome (which is certainly possible.. let's see what they have to offer before I pass judgment on that one)

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Ahh yes, leave it to the bid planning team of gromit and Lord David.. Anchorage should consult you guys for their exploratory committee!

Remains to be seen if Anchorage will rely so heavily on temporary arenas. If they do, will the USOC want to back that plan? Also, be careful of the new UAA arena. Here is a rendering of it and I'm not sure they could handle a full-sized ice surface..

Ah, the voice of sarcasm returns

Prey tell, what is wrong about speculating on potential venues or how a bid might look ... this is after all a site that deals with speculation.

From what I can see, there is a single temporary arena and only temporary in the sense it might be relocated to be a permanent facility elsewhere

And when considering the SLC2002 games lets look at the temporary nature of the facilities

Salt Lake Ice Center - temporarily used for ice events only and not since

Peaks Ice Arena - temporarily increased to 8400 seats then back to 2300 seats

The Speed Skating Oval - now used for a variety of different sports including athletics and indoor football/lacrosse

Appears the USOC has no problems with temporary solutions

As for a full sized ice surface, curling requires a surface of 45/46m x 4.4/5m .... a basketball court needs to be 28.65m x 15.24m ... looking at the video there appears to be sufficient space to put a ice sheet of suitable length and with 4 lines on the ground.

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. The point is that if you're going to put these types of facilities somewhere, why put them all the way up in Alaska instead of somewhere more conveniently located.

The sledding track, speed-skating and curing arenas are useless anywhere. There are no less convienent in Anchorage than in Denver.

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Ah, the voice of sarcasm returns

Prey tell, what is wrong about speculating on potential venues or how a bid might look ... this is after all a site that deals with speculation.

From what I can see, there is a single temporary arena and only temporary in the sense it might be relocated to be a permanent facility elsewhere

And when considering the SLC2002 games lets look at the temporary nature of the facilities

Salt Lake Ice Center - temporarily used for ice events only and not since

Peaks Ice Arena - temporarily increased to 8400 seats then back to 2300 seats

The Speed Skating Oval - now used for a variety of different sports including athletics and indoor football/lacrosse

Appears the USOC has no problems with temporary solutions

As for a full sized ice surface, curling requires a surface of 45/46m x 4.4/5m .... a basketball court needs to be 28.65m x 15.24m ... looking at the video there appears to be sufficient space to put a ice sheet of suitable length and with 4 lines on the ground.

What return.. I've been here the whole time. Hope I didn't give you too much trouble if it required you to un-ignore my post :P But alas, I digress..

I have no problem speculating about venue plans, especially in a thread like this about a specific city (as opposed to discussing other cities for no good reason). That said, if you're going to come up with a plan that quickly and ask "what's the issue," allow me to bring up a couple of issues.

First off, there are different levels of "temporary." Salt Lake Ice Center was a full constructed arena seating I believe 14,000 people for figure skating. A very inelegant set-up, but only the configuration was temporary. The venue itself was and remains very much permanent. Utah Olympic Oval is used for plenty of events, but remains the home base of United States speed skating. It is still used for competition, including a World Cup event in November and the U.S. Olympic trials in November. That's a lot different than creating a temporary structure and then shipping it off to another city and then demolishing another arena entirely in favor of its replacement (contrast that to the Stampede Corral which is still around today even with the Saddledome right next door. So if there are 5 venues for the Olympics (1 of which probably won't work, we'll get to that in a sec) and at most 3 of them will remain afterwards, that's a pretty poor legacy plan and a lot of spending for little gain.

Now to UAA arena.. take a look at the video again. Maybe you could squeeze a 4-sheet curling surface in there, but how many seats would you be left with? More important.. is there enough room for cameras and commentary positions and the like around the playing area? Not really a great Olympic venue if you don't have those things. Probably the reason you didn't see the Huntsman Center used as a part of the Salt Lake bid.

So again, I'm more than happy to have these discussions about venue plans. Not trying to discourage them. But it's not usually as simple as you're going to make it sound, and that's without accounting for the money a city like Anchorage would have to spend. And then throw in a little more to make appealing enough to win the nod from the USOC, let alone the IOC.

The sledding track, speed-skating and curing arenas are useless anywhere. There are no less convienent in Anchorage than in Denver.

Hmm.. you might want to tell the FIBT that. They seemed to find the track in Lake Placid extremely useful when they held the World Championships there last year. Also might want to tell US speed skating since they are using Utah Olympic Oval for the Olympic trials this December. And a curling arena is just like any multi-purpose venue.. Vancouver didn't seem to have trouble creating a legacy for their curling venue. They could do that because the city is large enough to justify having it even after 2 large sized venues and the new UBC arena. A city the size of Denver could probably find enough use out of the number of venues they'd need. A city the size of Anchorage.. not so much. Something like a sliding track or a speed-skating venue may cost more than it's worth, but it's by no means useless, especially if it's in a location it would get used more than once in a blue moon

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Hmm.. you might want to tell the FIBT that. They seemed to find the track in Lake Placid extremely useful when they held the World Championships there last year. Also might want to tell US speed skating since they are using Utah Olympic Oval for the Olympic trials this December.

Sorry, I forgot I neee to make every post idiot proof, lest it be misunderstood. Building *another* sledding tract, etc. is useless just about anywhere in the US.

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I'll drop in and add a quick comment, then won't be a bother, I promise. When you log on and find that someone has sent you a nastygram.. it's pretty disheartening and I'm still trying to figure that one out.. :(

In any event, in regards to the new arena being built on the UAA campus.. there won't be ice added in that sports venue. The basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, skiing, x-country and track & field will be located there - but anything that has to do with hockey will be stay at the Wells Fargo Center just down the road. The Wells Fargo Center does have a sheet of ice, but it's only used as a practice facility for the college hockey team. It's not a large enough venue for them to hold games there. I think it only seats 750? The new arena will be 196,00 SQ according to the Anchorage Daily News, which is probably small by most standards, but the Anchorage campus enrollment is only at 18K in most years.

Speaking of ice.. We just went through a major mess at UAA over the topic of ice hockey with one of many of the complaints being that ice was not included in that new sports facility. Two of the larger hockey associations in town filed a "lack of confidence vote" against the college's athletic director because of his seeming lack of interest in hockey. The governor eventually got involved in the squabble and the athletic director was ultimately fired (approximately a month ago?).. With any luck, UAA's next AD will be a hockey fan!

I'm only mentioning all of this.. because -IF- (and that's a huge if baron ^_^ ) they ever did decide to try a bid, neither the UAA campus or the Sullivan Arena would be a factor. Neither would any of the other smaller arenas (Boeke, Dempsey, Dimond, McDonald, etc.) The Sullivan Arena is far too small for the Aces and is one of the older ones in D1 college hockey. All talks around town are that it needs to be demolished.

Anyway.. thanks for letting me drop in here from time to time.. I'm having some problems logging off of here for some reason and am not sure if there's a glitch? I log off, and when I drop back a day or so later.. for some reason it shows that I'm already logged on. Strange.. :blink:

Take care guys. xoxox Baron-PierreIV, I'll be pulling for you!!

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