With the start of the hockey season just weeks away, Alaska-Anchorage finds themselves scrambling after arena managers at Sullivan Arena, home of the Seawolves, discovered a corroded pipe in the arena's ice-making equipment, that has compromised the ability to make a full sheet of ice.
Sullivan Arena staff seems confident the equipment can be repaired. But it remains to be seen if those repairs can be made quickly enough to be done for the start of the hockey season. Anchorage opens their season with an exhibition game against Regina on October 6th, but that game was already scheduled to be played at the 700-seat McDonald Center in Eagle River, AK. The Seawolves wouldn't need Sullivan Arena until October 12th and 13th when they host the Kendall Hockey Classic.
Anchorage athletic director Steve Cobb has begun making preparations in case the repairs can't be made in time, or in case the repairs don't hold through the season. The Seawolves' practice facility, the 750-person capacity Wells Fargo Sports Complex, is being given a press box, and being set-up to accommodate television broadcasts and video review.
With it being Alaska, there aren't many other viable options if ice can't be made at Sullivan Arena. The Menard Center in Wasilla, roughly 45 minutes from campus, can seat 1500 people. The Kenai River Brown Bears' home in Soldotna can seat 2000, but at nearly three hours drive away, it's likely not much of an option. There aren't any other arenas in the area with a capacity over 1000 people.
A new on-campus arena has been discussed for Alaska-Anchorage for a few years now. Perhaps these issues at Sullivan Arena could help add some momentum to the project.