Tennis, women’s hockey to receive new stadium

by Josh Linehan

Though they’ve finished their respective seasons, the women’s hockey team and the men’s and women’s tennis teams completed a late rally earlier this month.
According to published reports, the athletics departments found the extra $1.2 million they needed to begin construction on a combination hockey and tennis facility.
The state Legislature, the University and private donors initially met the $13.2 million price tag for the arena, but construction bids came in $3.5 million over budget.
University President Mark Yudof then asked women’s athletics director Chris Voelz, in conjunction with interim men’s athletics director Tom Moe, to raise the extra cash to finance the building’s debt service for the next five years.
Despite having a large amount of money to raise in under six weeks, Voelz was confident she could raise it.
“We’re going to make it,” Voelz said shortly after fund raising began. “Every day, we throw another hook in the water and reel it in. I have some effusive optimism about this project.”
The project was one of the last Voelz completed before undergoing knee surgery earlier this month.
Voelz and Moe raised the money by selling the success of the programs invloved and the need for facilities. The women’s hockey team won a national championship in March, and both tennis teams had winning seasons.
The stadium will ultimately be instrumental to all University athletes, but will help the tennis teams most in the short term. While women’s hockey skated in Mariucci Arena in the past, both tennis teams were forced to travel for practices.
The lack of a home facility “has cost us an extraordinary price,” said women’s tennis coach Martin Novak. “It’s big. It hurts everything.”
The University is still far from resolving all stadium issues, however. The men’s baseball team, recently eliminated from NCAA competition, is still waiting for University approval to begin the process of building a new stadium.
Baseball coach John Anderson said the baseball program would like the University’s financial support, but will raise the funds on their own if they must.
— Local wire services contributed to this report.
Josh Linehan welcomes comments at [email protected]. He can also be reached at 627-4070 x3243.