University of Alaska Anchorage Athletic Director Keith Hackett along with head coaches and members of the Athletic Department hosted a media day and tour of the new Alaska Airlines Arena. The excitement is high among Hackett, coaches, and members of the Athletic Department for the opening of the new state of the art arena in Anchorage and at UAA.
Hackett stated, “ We are about 99.5% complete. That last five-tenths of a percent are the special things we need to do. To give the building a little more wow before we open.”
Hackett then introduced to the media the new General Manager of Alaska Airlines Center, Chris Orheim. Hackett led the media to the first stop, still under construction the gymnastics training area. Gymnastics head-coach, Paul Stakolos had this to say about the new training area, “When this done it will probably be one of the best, or finest gymnastics buildings on the west coast.”
The tour was then led to the practice basketball courts for the UAA basketball teams. The court mirrors the actual court in the main arena running north to south, and the same dimensions as the regular court. The basketball room has seating for about 500 people and will host special event dinners and the Alaska State High School Basketball tournaments.
Keith Hackett led the media into the strength and conditioning room where the volleyball team was currently doing drills. The Seawolf volleyball players rotated through different work out stations utilizing a variety of new equipment. Hackett said, “Come back in mid-September and you will see the room fully prepared.”
Keith then took the media down to the sports medicine for the UAA Student Athlete to recover from injuries and get the players back to full practice and playing as quickly as possible. Chris Volk, the head athletic trainer for Seawolf athletics showed off the new sports medicine rehabilitation area. The area consisted of four whirlpool tubs for players to soak in after practice and relax in either hot or cold water. A pool with an underwater treadmill with two cameras and a television so the player and trainer can work together to correct any issues the player is suffering from while recovering from an injury.
Volk said, “We probably have quadruple the space that we had at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex.”
The tour ended at the main arena floor and that’s where the beauty of the Alaska Airlines Arena lies when your standing on the court looking up around and up at the 5,000 seats and the memories that will be made at Anchorage’s newest state of the art arena. If its from hosting graduation, concerts, and UAA athletic events, the Alaska Airlines Arena is a must see for the community both UAA and Anchorage.