Penn State’s future state-of-the-art ice facility, set to open in 2014, received its name Friday at the Penn State Board of Trustees meeting.
The new arena will be named Pegula Ice Arena in honor of alumnus Terrence M. Pegula and his wife, Kim, who donated $88 million to Penn State in September to build the facility and establish Division I men’s and women’s hockey teams at University Park.
In terms of the name itself, Associate Athletic Director for Ice Arena Operations and Director of the Ice Arena and Hockey Campaign Joe Battista said it keeps perfectly with the tradition of keeping a building name simple.
“On top of that, we already had a stadium, a center, a complex, an auditorium and a hall, but we haven’t had an arena yet,” Battista said. “They like the names to be understated, not flashy.”
Though the university considered corporate sponsorship for the name, Battista said administrators felt naming it after the donor who financed it is the right choice.
“When someone gives $88 million, to put something else on the building that they’re basically paying for wouldn’t be right,” Battista said.
That said, fans can expect to see sponsorship of the scoreboards, as well as along the boards of the arena, as Battista said the university still wants the facility to be self-sustainable.
Crawford Architects of Kansas City, Mo., and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson of Wilkes-Barre, were selected as architects for the design of the new 200,000-square foot, multi-purpose ice arena.
Pegula’s $88 million gift was the largest act of philanthropy in Penn State’s history.
The Pegula Ice Arena will be located next to Holuba Hall, across the street from the Bryce Jordan Center. The stadium is expected to seat 5,000 to 6,000 fans.
Coaching search hits snag
Over the last week, Penn State interviewed many search firms in hopes of selecting one to help its search for an inaugural Division I hockey head coach.
The search firm’s purpose would have been to generate a list of top candidates through research of criteria provided by the school.
After interviewing multiple search firms, Battista said the amount of money the firms are asking for may deter Penn State from using them to find Penn State’s hockey coach.
“Right now we’re back to the drawing board deciding if there’s someone willing to work with us or if we’re just going to do it in house,” Battista said.
Battista said Penn State hopes to have a coach hired by May, and “will do their due diligence” to make sure they make the right selection.