Full Board Expected to Soon Finalize Plan For $115 Million Facility
The Arizona Board of Regents’ Finance, Capital and Resources Committee on Thursday approved Arizona State’s plan for a new 5,000-seat multi-purpose arena, which will become the hockey team’s on-campus home.
The plan now goes to review by the full Board of Regents, which will convene Nov. 18. It is expected to again be approved.
Construction would start in January 2021, with full completion projected for December 2022. However, operational completion would be on track for August 2022, which would make the 2021-22 season the final time the Sun Devils play at nearby Oceanside Ice Arena.
The arena will sit along South Packard Drive, adjacent to football’s Sun Devil Stadium, basketball’s Desert Financial Arena, and the former site of baseball’s historic Packard Stadium. Hockey would share the arena with the gymnastics and wrestling programs, and a second sheet of ice would be built for the Tempe community. The total budget for the project is estimated at $115 million.
ASU Chief Financial Officer Morgan Olsen added during the meeting that a $16m naming rights deal is in place, but will not be revealed until a later date.
Sun Devil Athletics has seen a monsoon of ticket requests accompany the hockey program’s recent success. Season tickets have been sold out for almost three years. The demand is something that the 2015 renovation of Oceanside Ice Arena was never built to handle and that the new arena would help alleviate.
Additionally, the new arena and surrounding area’s hotels would be accessible by rail from Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, unlike Oceanside.
The current iteration of Arizona State’s arena plan has been in the making for a large part of the calendar year. Originally up for approval in April, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic allowed ASU to revise some of the arena’s schematics.
The school has issued a notice of intent to award the arena’s development contract to Mortenson, a well-known company whose portfolio includes recent projects such as Climate Pledge Arena, the future home of the NHL’s Seattle Kraken, and Allegiant Stadium, home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders. Mortenson’s previous developments in the college hockey world include Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn., and Pegula Ice Arena in State College, Pa., both of which were completed early and under budget.
The seating configurations for the arena include nine loges, 20 private suites, two group suites, and event-level premium club seats. The arena would also be able to serve as a backup for sports played on hardwood, such as volleyball.
The plan is considered a part of the state of Arizona’s largest urban mixed-use development project, an undertaking known as the Novus Innovation Corridor, which will develop or redevelop 355 total acres of ASU land for various athletic and commercial opportunities.