Mariucci suites

The Board of Regents will soon be reviewing a proposal to include luxury suites in Mariucci Arena’s new design plans. Luxury suites such as these are becoming common fixtures in newer collegiate arenas being built throughout the United States. The addition of box seats to the University’s hockey arena would increase revenue without sacrificing student seating.
Eric Kruse, Vice President for University Services, argues that the University will see similar benefits if the Regents approve the plan, which calls for construction to begin after this year’s hockey season ends. The project should be completed before the start of next year’s hockey season.
For a Big Ten school, the addition of these luxury suites is an appropriate step in making the University’s athletics program more marketable. Many other schools are following this trend toward adding luxury suites to their new arenas.
At the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, the new Ralph Engelstad Arena is currently under development. This new arena will include 48 luxury suites and is being heralded as the soon-to-be envy of the National Collegiate Athletics Association. Similarly, the Kohl Center at the University of Wisconsin at Madison was just opened in 1998 and has become a highlight of the campus there. The Kohl Center’s state-of-the-art arena is equipped with luxury suites and accented with hi-tech sound systems and TV monitors for instant replays.
Though the specifics of these new suites for Mariucci have not been outlined in great detail, Kruse likened the new suites to the barn lofts in Williams Arena. Not intended for student use, the box seats would be sold to individuals and corporations. If the proposed suites happen to cut into space for students in Mariucci Arena, however, then the plans should be reworked. After all, priority should be given to the students first as opposed to outside interests.
When questioned about the effect suites would have on the student seating area, Kruse said the number of students seats available would not decrease.
With the box seats, the newly-designed arena will make the University a more appealing place for athletes and fans alike, while making sure the University is up to speed with the new facilities being erected by other schools.