Text 'uaahockey' to 41444 to donate today!
Text 'uaahockey' to 41444 to donate today!
On February 25, 2021 the University of Alaska’s Board of Regents approved an extension to the fundraising deadline to August 30, 2021.
The extension comes with an agreement between UA leadership and hockey supporters that the following will occur:
1) supporters must raise the full amount to cover two years of operating expenses ($3 million),
2) supporters also must raise the full amount to reinstate the UAA gymnastics program ($444,000 by June 30, 2021 and $444,000 by June 30, 2022) due to Title IX requirements.
Once these conditions are met, the hockey program will be reinstated with the full support of the University and competition will begin in the 2022-23 season.
Meeting our goal
Why is the program taking a year off?
When we first heard the proposed solution to not participate in the 2021-22 season, we didn’t want to wait one more year for Seawolf hockey. After taking a year off from COVID, we want to get back on the ice. But the positives of an extra year off far outweigh the negatives. Part of our goal in saving the program is not solely to get the team back on the ice, but to do it right, set the program up for success and help it thrive for the next 40+ years. We are looking at building a winning team at the highest level of collegiate hockey. This will give us time to build a team worthy of playing at this level.
How will taking a year off impact players on the team?
The biggest benefit to waiting another year is the recruitment of players. When this season was cancelled because of covid, many players moved on. Most others remaining on the team will graduate or move on at the end of this school year. This essentially means we’ll need a new team. The extra year will give us time to get strong players, rebuild our roster and re-establish our team.
When the program is reinstated, who will be UAA’s competition?
Playing as an independent team without a league will be a significant challenge. We need the extra year off to build a solid schedule. As an independent team, we have the potential to create a better schedule than if we were in a conference. There are a lot of possibilities available to us. We will take advantage of the opportunity to get some of those schools on our schedule.
Where will the Seawolves play home games?
The rink on campus is not suitable in its current state for a Division I college program. The year off will give the athletic department, the university and the group at Save Seawolf Hockey time to negotiate a fair and lucrative deal to play at a Division I facility. A quality location will further support the hockey program in the long term because it entices players to come to UAA and draws interest from others teams to compete in Anchorage.
Will the coaches still be here in 2022-23?
The coaching team will remain in-tact through reinstatement. Coach Matt Curley and his staff have given a lot to be here. They’ve stayed with the program because they believe in it and they believe in the future of the team. We are excited to have them remain a part of the Seawolf family and build a future for the team.
What will fundraising look like leading up to the August deadline?
We are planning a number of events over the next several months. Please participate and support our efforts. Additionally, the Seattle Kraken are committed to partnering with Seawolf hockey to help fundraise and support the program in the long-term.
The giving and fundraising won’t stop once we reach $3 million. It takes more than the university’s general fund budget to sustain a high-level program. All successful collegiate programs have boosters who support and give on an annual basis. We will continue to build the Seawolf Hockey Excellence fund. We want all of our donors to be proud of the fact that they helped save this program. We’ll use this extra time to build momentum, anticipation and excitement for the team getting back on the ice.
Should fans expect any changes to games when the team is back on the ice?
Seawolf Hockey will be an exciting product on the ice and in the stands. We are building a plan that will make the games an event, not just a hockey game with a goal to make the experience fun and engaging so people want to come. It’ll be along the lines of what you see at professional games, but with a local flavor. We’d like to include students in this process. This is their team, too.
Will there be any additional support and promotion of the team off the ice?
While it’s the university’s duty to create a business plan and promote their team, they’ll need community support and help to get there in order for the team to really stand out. Save Seawolf Hockey and others will offer their support over the next year to make sure all of the bases are covered. This will help ensure we have a product that everyone can be proud of.
What is the vision for Seawolf Hockey?
With the cancellation of this season due to covid and taking next year off, it provides closure on the current chapter of Seawolf Hockey. We cherish the successes and wonderful memories that we’ve built over the last four decades. It’s time to start fresh. We are closing one chapter and opening another. This break gives us an opportunity to have finality on the first 40 years and lay the foundation for the next 40 years. We’re looking forward to the 22-23 season with a relaunch of Seawolf Hockey!