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Illinois and Nebraska "thinking" about adding hockey.

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07-22-2012, 08:50 PM
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S E P H
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Illinois and Nebraska "thinking" about adding hockey.

I will try to find the news again, but there was information that after Big 10 formed their hockey league, these schools were in very, VERY (and I mean very) early stages of thinking about adding hockey.

A lot of the Illinois fans would welcome it, but Cornhuskers said that UNO should be one to hold hockey in their state. IMO that makes sense and just move UNO to Big 10.

Please bare with me, I will try and find these articles. Any help is appreciated.

What are your thoughts?

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07-22-2012, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S E P H View Post
I will try to find the news again, but there was information that after Big 10 formed their hockey league, these schools were in very, VERY (and I mean very) early stages of thinking about adding hockey.

A lot of the Illinois fans would welcome it, but Cornhuskers said that UNO should be one to hold hockey in their state. IMO that makes sense and just move UNO to Big 10.

Please bare with me, I will try and find these articles. Any help is appreciated.

What are your thoughts?
http://www.startribune.com/sports/blogs/103370674.html

I'm sure Illinois asked, but it's a whole other thing to begin a program. I'd love it, but until they come up with a donor(s) I'm not holding my breath.


Last edited by Slowe: 07-23-2012 at 10:30 AM.
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07-22-2012, 11:29 PM
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Illinois' probably at least a decade away, minimum, from having a varsity hockey program. Plus, their administration is a mess and I don't have faith in them being able to organize a major capital project like building a new ice arena, which would be needed, and funding two new varsity sports.

And there's no way that the Big Ten would let UNO in, even as just a hockey only school. The Big Ten doesn't operate that way. It's all or nothing, and UNO doesn't fit the Big Ten's standards academically or athletically for what they'd want nor does it add a new market to the conference.

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07-22-2012, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by No Fun Shogun View Post
Illinois' probably at least a decade away, minimum, from having a varsity hockey program. Plus, their administration is a mess and I don't have faith in them being able to organize a major capital project like building a new ice arena, which would be needed, and funding two new varsity sports.

And there's no way that the Big Ten would let UNO in, even as just a hockey only school. The Big Ten doesn't operate that way. It's all or nothing, and UNO doesn't fit the Big Ten's standards academically or athletically for what they'd want nor does it add a new market to the conference.
In the article I read a lot of posters did say that it would be hard to create a hockey arena considering they have to update all the other sport arenas as well. Any truth to this?

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07-23-2012, 12:09 AM
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In the article I read a lot of posters did say that it would be hard to create a hockey arena considering they have to update all the other sport arenas as well. Any truth to this?
Well, they just partially renovated the football stadium recently, so don't think they need to worry about that for at least a while. But yes, they need a replacement for their basketball arena, the Assembly Hall. It's an extremely iconic venue with a fantastic atmosphere and is an all-around fun place to attend games, but the university has not kept the fact that they view it as outdated and lacking in revenue generating amenities that new arenas have (such as luxury booths and greater retail space) a secret.

Building a new basketball arena is probably the university's #1 priority as, no matter how you look at it, they'd assuredly get more money out of the basketball program than the hockey program. A joint hockey/basketball venue's possible, though I'm not sure if Illinois' seriously looking at that idea or not.

As for other facilities, their baseball field needs remodeling and they've got other facilities that need work done as well, but those are all non-revenue sports and they're all free to attend anyway (except for women's volleyball, which you need to pay to attend like men's basketball and football). If they created a varsity hockey program though, it's a pretty safe bet that it'd cost to attend those games so the prospect of creating a potential new money generating program would take higher priority over the non-revenue sports, though. As such, I think that the university would be more interested in building a hockey venue that renovating or building replacements for their other programs, supposing that the school's actually interested in creating a hockey program in the near future.

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07-23-2012, 10:34 AM
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While I'd guess Nebraska has small interest, they would be an interesting one to watch. It wouldn't surprise me if they at least asked the question. They plan on building a 1,500 seat ice rink near campus as part of a gift they received from an alumni. Their non-varsity club team will play there. So too small for a D1 rink, but maybe at least enough for them to bother to ask.

Nebraska is also building a new basketball stadium. I have read they it may be able to accomodate ice, but have never really seen much detail around that.

None of this means they are aggressively pursuing a hockey team, but an on campus ice rink never hurts the hockey culture.

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07-23-2012, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slowe View Post
While I'd guess Nebraska has small interest, they would be an interesting one to watch. It wouldn't surprise me if they at least asked the question. They plan on building a 1,500 seat ice rink near campus as part of a gift they received from an alumni. Their non-varsity club team will play there. So too small for a D1 rink, but maybe at least enough for them to bother to ask.
They could play on the Nebraska State Fairgrounds where the USHL Stars play. That holds 5,100.



It also says on wiki that the new basketball stadium would hold 12,700 for hockey and I dug up this picture.


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07-23-2012, 02:00 PM
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Found a new (minor) update for U of I that was printed in the local paper recently.

Quote:
The master plan also shows two large buildings slated for "university-oriented use" at the north end of the park, near the I Hotel and Conference Center. DeLorenzo and others said there are no specific plans for those buildings, but it made sense to reserve them for university use given their proximity to the Assembly Hall.

Fox has led the effort for a new ice arena just southeast of the hotel, but "it's not very far along at this point," he said last week. UI athletic officials are focused on the upcoming renovation of the UI Assembly Hall, Fox said.
The "master plan" refers to an area in the southwest part of the campus dedicated to a research and development park. The developers have been discussing a new ice rink there for some time, but by all accounts it's just a small local rink intended to update or replace the aging one sheet rink on campus. So not a D1 suitable stadium.

What is new though is the "two large buildings slated for university oriented use." That area is right next to the football and basketball stadiums. Depending on how large is "large" I'd speculate they are saving room for another arena. Or at least more athletic fields. It would work out nicely if it was right next to the planned smaller rink that could double as a practice area. Still dreaming...

Here's the link if you want it. Most all of the article focuses on the development of the research park.

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