In 2021, the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, Minn., became the first Division III institution in the modern NCAA to transition directly to Division I. Plans for a new multipurpose sports arena on campus will support that move.
The Lee and Penny Anderson Arena project, including practice facilities, will serve as the new home for the school’s men’s and women’s hockey and basketball programs. It is scheduled to break ground in 2024, with a target opening in fall 2025.
Ryan Companies US, Inc., was selected as the design-builder, in partnership with Crawford Architects. The new arena complex will provide competition and training facilities for men’s and women’s athletics, and house commencement ceremonies, academic convocations, conferences, career fairs, and other events for the university and broader community.
Preliminary design concepts envision seating configurations that accommodate quick conversions between various athletic and university events. Spectators will be on top of the action, as intimate seating and balconies will create a home-team advantage that will enhance the game-day experience for players and fans.
The exterior design of the sports arena will represent an intersection of the school’s collegiate Gothic architecture and a more modern aesthetic. LEED Silver certification will be pursued.
“St. Thomas has been evolving from small Catholic liberal arts college to a comprehensive national Catholic university, and the Lee and Penny Anderson Arena will be a powerful engine for that journey,” said St. Thomas President Rob Vischer.
The university recently announced that it received a $75 million gift from Lee and Penny Anderson of Naples, Fla., for the arena. The donation is the single largest monetary gift ever given to a Minnesota university.
On the building team:
Owner: University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn.
Design architect: Ryan A+E, Inc. (design studio of Ryan Companies US, Inc.)
Sports architect: Crawford Architects
MEP engineer: IMEG
Structural engineer: Meyer Borgman Johnson
General contractor: Ryan Companies US, Inc.
Architects | Jun 6, 2023
Taking storytelling to a new level in building design, with Gensler's Bob Weis and Andy Cohen
Bob Weis, formerly the head of Disney Imagineering, was recently hired by Gensler as its Global Immersive Experience Design Leader. He joins the firm's co-CEO Andy Cohen to discuss how Gensler will focus on storytelling to connect people to its projects.
Sports and Recreational Facilities | May 30, 2023
How design supports a more holistic approach to training
For today’s college athletes, training is no longer about cramming team practices and weight lifting sessions in between classes.
Arenas | May 18, 2023
How can we reimagine live sports experiences?
A Gensler survey finds what sports fans' experiences have been like returning to arenas, and their expectations going forward.
BIM and Information Technology | May 8, 2023
What AEC professionals should know about digital twins
A growing number of AEC firms and building owners are finding value in implementing digital twins to unify design, construction, and operational data.
Collegiate Stadiums | Apr 4, 2023
6 examples of modern college training facilities
HOK discusses the future of college training facilities, with six design takeaways derived from a discussion between Dan Radakovich, Director of Athletics at the University of Miami, and Trevor Bechtold, Director, HOK’s Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice.
Sports and Recreational Facilities | Mar 17, 2023
Aurora, Colo., recreation center features city’s first indoor field house, unobstructed views of the Rocky Mountains
In January, design firm Populous and the City of Aurora, Colo. marked the opening of the Southeast Aurora Recreation Center and Fieldhouse. The 77,000-sf facility draws design inspiration from the nearby Rocky Mountains. With natural Douglas Fir structure and decking, the building aims to mimic the geography of a canyon.
Sports and Recreational Facilities | Mar 15, 2023
Georgia State University Convocation Center revitalizes long-neglected Atlanta neighborhood
Georgia State University’s new Convocation Center doubles the arena it replaces and is expected to give a shot in the arm to a long-neglected Atlanta neighborhood. The new 200,000 sf multi-use venue in the Summerhill area of Atlanta is the new home for the university’s men’s and women’s basketball teams and will also be used for large-scale academic and community events.
Sports and Recreational Facilities | Feb 27, 2023
New 20,000-seat soccer stadium will anchor neighborhood development in Indianapolis
A new 20,000-seat soccer stadium for United Soccer League’s Indy Eleven will be the centerpiece of a major neighborhood development in Indianapolis. The development will transform the southwest quadrant of downtown Indianapolis by adding more than 600 apartments, 205,000 sf of office space, 197,000 sf for retail space and restaurants, parking garages, a hotel, and public plazas with green space.
Arenas | Feb 23, 2023
Using data to design the sports venue of the future
Former video game developer Abe Stein and HOK's Bill Johnson discuss how to use data to design stadiums and arenas that keep fans engaged and eager to return.
Arenas | Feb 14, 2023
A new communications platform aims to help sports and entertainment venues operate greener
GOAL (for Green Operations and Advanced Leadership) will give operators ways to gauge their sustainability journeys.