Will Penn State Soon See Varsity Hockey?
Hockey at a Division I varsity level may soon become a reality at Penn State as the Altoona Mirror is reporting that talks of a new arena being built on campus are heating up and a deal for construction is close to being completed. If this were to occur, both men’s and women’s varsity hockey teams would be formed.
The Icers and Lady Icers play in the American College Hockey Association as of now which is a Division I-club status organization. Both club teams play in the Penn State Ice Rink currently which has a capacity of 1,350. There is no word on the number of seats the new arena would hold. Costs of the arena, which would be located near the Bryce Jordan Center and Lubrano Park, are figured to be in the $60-$80 million range. Most of the construction money is expected to come from alumn Terry Pegula, who recently sold his company, East Resources, to Royal Dutch Shell for $4.7 billion.
The men’s club team, specifically, has been a perennial power in the ACHA for more than a decade, reaching the national tournament year in and year out while winning five national championships along the way. Because of this, varsity-level competition has always been a topic of consideration. Other operating costs and scholarship details would of course need to be worked out, but the possibility of playing the Boston Colleges, Boston U’s and New Hampshires of the college hockey world is a very exciting prospect (one this reporter wishes would’ve come during his time here in Happy Valley).