Michael Crow: ASU hockey likely to use off-campus facility at NCAA level

Crow says the University has received multiple offers to host the newest Division I team

The ASU hockey program will likely move to an off-campus facility once the team achieves full NCAA status in 2016-17, ASU president Michael Crow said in a meeting with The State Press Editorial Board.

ASU, which will host games at the renovated Oceanside Ice Arena during its hybrid season in 2015-16, has already fielded multiple offers to host the team at an off-campus facility, Crow said.

"There's a number of people who have come forward with offers, 'We'll build you this, we'll do that. We'll improve this, we'll put money into this and so right now we're not looking to build it ourselves," Crow said. "We're looking to get someone else to build or modify the hockey arena that we'll play in."

Crow said no decision has been made, but that athletic director Ray Anderson's choice likely won't be on ASU Tempe campus.

"I think most of the places (Ray Anderson) has been looking at have been off-campus," he said. "Including where they play now (Oceanside), an enhanced version of where they play now, which is not on campus."

ASU will be making the transition from the ACHA to NCAA, starting with a hybrid season in 2015-16.

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By Ben Moffat | The State Press

Freshman forward Connor Mailey takes a shot on goal in the third period against UA on Friday, Oct. 31, 2014 at Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe.

The attention given to the hockey program has been encouraging, Crow said.

"The attention to our hockey program, hockey athletes that want to be here," Crow said. "We're looking forward to playing Harvard, to playing Dartmouth and Minnesota and Wisconsin and these other great hockey schools in the Midwest and eastern part of the U.S."

After announcing the addition of men's hockey as a varsity sport in November, the athletic department must now add a women's varsity sport to fulfill Title IX regulations.

Crow said as a condition of receiving the $32 million donation from Don Mullett to create the hockey program, some of the funds must be appropriated to creating a women's varsity sport.

"The cost of (creating a women's sport) is built into the gift," he said. "One of the conditions of the gifts for hockey was that there's sufficient funding to start the other sport."

Crow said the two primary sports being looked at are women's lacrosse and women's crew.

"I know they're looking at women's lacrosse," he said. "It's been in the lead of that consideration. I think the other sport they're looking at is women's crew. ... Those are both great sports. Crew would be fantastic; lacrosse would be fantastic."

Crow said while crew would be a nice feature, the costs would be high.

"I'd love to see us get crew because of (Tempe Town Lake) and other things it can do," Crow said. "It turns out that taking those shells and moving them around for a dual-meet up in Seattle or for a dual-meet in Philadelphia, you have to move all that equipment over there. You've just got to be ready for the expense."

Crow said the decision will be coming soon.

"I think we have to have it at the same time (as hockey) plus or minus a year," he said. "We want to do it anyway. We'd just love to have an opportunity for young women to have a great varsity experience."

Reach the assistant sports editor at fardaya@asu.edu or follow @fardaya15 on Twitter.

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