ABOR approves new $115-million multi-purpose arena for ASU sports programs

The arena will house competitions for the University's ice hockey, wrestling and gymnastics programs

The Arizona Board of Regents approved a $115-million proposal from ASU Thursday that includes an approximately 5,000-seat arena on the Tempe campus for its men's ice hockey, wrestling and gymnastics programs, according to a statement from chair Larry E. Penley.

The arena is part of the University's planned Novus Innovation Corridor, which is currently in its third phase, with renovations to other fields being previously completed as part of the project.

"Part of the Novus Innovation Corridor, the project is important for the university and the community as it will support functions such as Sun Devil Athletics intercollegiate sports, concerts, lectures and large meetings," Penley said in an emailed statement Thursday. "The Novus Innovation Corridor is intended to generate long-term, predictable revenue for the university to support the renovation of collegiate athletic facilities while integrating corporate and campus innovation.”

The proposal was initially approved by ABOR's Finance, Capital and Resources Committee on Nov. 5, which then moved to full board approval today.

According to ASU's Amended Capital Development Plan, the arena will begin construction in January 2021 with projected completion in December 2022. The project will include a second sheet of ice for the ASU men's ice hockey team to practice on.

Having played its games at Oceanside Ice Arena since its promotion to the Division I level, which began in the 2015-16 season, ASU's men's ice hockey program has accumulated 51 wins since 2017, with 43 of them coming in the past two seasons.

The facility will also host wrestling and gymnastics competitions. Both of the aforementioned programs currently compete in Desert Financial Arena, along with men's and women's basketball and volleyball.

The wrestling program ended the 2019-20 season with a 15-2 record, going 8-0 at home and 2-0 at neutral locations. The record was an improvement over its 6-10 outing from 2018-19.

The women's gymnastics program finished either tied for or in first in six of the 11 meets it had last season. Its final meet of the season, at LSU, was canceled due to the pandemic.

The new arena will include nine loges, 20 private suites, two group suites and event-level premium club seating.

Besides athletic events, the multipurpose arena will also hold concerts, esports competitions, family programs and instructional clinics.

Reach the reporter at aklatsky@asu.edu and follow @averyklatsky on Twitter. 

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