On Wednesday evening, ESPN hat salesman John Buccigross tweeted that Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota was planning on starting a men’s Division I college hockey program.
On Thursday, the school confirmed the rumor, though gave no firm plans on when that might take place.
Augustana, although it would be the first ever D-1 hockey program from South Dakota, is a fairly logical fit for the sport. The school competes athletically in Division II in the Northern Sun Conference, a conference that includes D-1 hockey schools Bemidji State, Minnesota State Mankato, Minnesota Duluth, and St. Cloud State.
Sioux Falls is a growing hockey market led by the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede, which plays at the 10,000+ seat Denny Sanford PREMIER Center. The arena hosted a men’s NCAA regional in 2018, and is scheduled to do so again in 2024 and 2026.
The school said they plan to give more details on the new program later this summer or early this fall.