The new UNO Community Arena is taking shape in the Aksarben area of Omaha. It will be the home to UNO hockey and other teams beginning this fall.
Mark Cera is the UNO Community Arena General Manager. He says, “It Is certainly helping from a recruiting standpoint, it certainly helps for our guys to have a home to play on campus."
The arena will be able to hold 7,500 fans. It will feature a two-tier main rink which put fans on top of the action. There will also be a full size ice rink under the same roof but in a separate part of the building. It is where the hockey team will be able to practice and the community can enjoy open skating year round.
UNO’s basketball and volleyball teams will also use the new arena. Graduations will be scheduled there as well. The entire facility became the master plan of Kiewit and HDR after officials toured five hockey arenas across the country.
Bruce Carpenter, HDR Senior Vice President, said, “The form is a little different, the way it looks is a little different, and the expression of the building tries to capture that excitement that is happening, the live event on the interior."
Of course by saying hello to the new arena, UNO will be saying goodbye to the CenturyLink arena which has been home to the hockey team for years. UNO says it made sense for the university to have its own home.
The university also hopes it will help UNO reach its goal of having 20,000 students by the year 2020. The arena is set to open in October with the hockey team’s first game of the season.