Hockey arena completion set for January

Hockey arena completion set for January
Construction progresses on the Midco Arena. Photo by Ryleigh Tupper.

Weather issues have delayed construction of Augustana’s Midco Arena, which is now scheduled for completion on Jan. 17, 2024.

The men’s hockey team will kick off their inaugural, Division I season at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center on Oct. 14-15 against a Central Collegiate Hockey Association opponent, which has yet to be announced. The center holds 12,000 seats and will be available for the team until the Midco Arena is finished.

“We always knew we were on a tight timeline, so we’re blessed in this community that we have another first-class facility that we can start in,” Josh Morton, Augustana’s director of athletics, said. “We’re still dropping the puck in October, and we’re so excited to get there.”

Freshman hockey player Will Svenddal said he is excited to play in the new arena.

“It is unfortunate that the weather delayed the construction, but I’m still super excited to get in the new building,” Svenddal said. “It’s going to be a first-class facility, probably the best arena in our conference. We’re looking forward to having everything we need in the arena with the locker room, weight room and training room.”

The Midco Arena will hold 3,082 seats for fans and will also feature classrooms, coach offices, a new strength and conditioning weight room for athletes, and a new soccer locker room and lounge.

“I am super excited for the new locker room and weight room in the Midco Arena,” Ally Hamski, a freshman soccer player, said. “I’m hoping it will not only be a place where we get ready for games and practices, but also a place of our own where we can hangout, work on homework and review films.”

The women’s soccer team currently does not have a locker room in the Elmen Center, which has made it difficult for the athletes to find adequate space to change and prepare for games.

“There’s 30 of us, so we typically change in our cars, our houses before or in the little bathrooms at the Elmen if we need to change quick,” Morgan McDonnel, a junior soccer player, said. “We have a say in the design process, so our plan is giving recommendations and choosing what the room will look like. I hope it’s always accessible to our team.”

Although Mcdonnel has one more season left with the Vikings, she won’t get to experience the locker room until after her last season is over.

“I’m going to convince everyone to let me in the locker room so I can hang out with them,” McDonnel said. “I think it will be a great space for everyone to group together and provide a space to hang out and grow closer.”

With construction of the Midco Arena continuing until January, hockey recruits who are currently on campus will continue to practice at the SCHEELS IcePlex.

“[Junior Ben Troumbly] and I have been working out three times a week and skating twice a week with the coaches since about the third week of school,” Svenddal said. “We will continue this schedule for the rest of the year. It’s been nice to really work on small skills with drills that you wouldn’t normally do during a full team practice.”