Augustana makes Division 1 men’s hockey official, breaks ground on Midco Arena

Sports

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AUGUSTANA) — Augustana University officially announced today that it will be home to the Viking Men’s Hockey program — set to take the ice in the fall of 2023. The public announcement came during a groundbreaking ceremony on AU’s campus for the program’s new $40 million Midco Arena, facilitated by a lead gift from T. Denny Sanford, Midco, Sanford Health and several other major donors.

“Augustana’s program is the first of its kind in the state and one of only 61 men’s hockey programs competing at the Division I level in the country. Sioux Falls needs a great college hockey program and under the leadership of President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Augustana is the place to make it happen,” South Dakota Businessman and Philanthropist T. Denny Sanford said.  

“This is a celebratory day and a difference-making day. Thank you, Denny Sanford, for leading the way to bring Division I hockey to Augie, Sioux Falls and the great state of South Dakota. We’re proud to be one of the many sponsors and donors helping support Augustana in making this dream come true, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to put the Midco name on the arena. By bringing DI hockey to Sioux Falls, Augustana’s campus will become even more of an activity hub for the region while continuing to graduate leaders for the years to come,” said Midco President & CEO Pat McAdaragh. “Midco is thrilled to be part of this initiative, and excited to welcome everyone to the Midco Arena.”  

The announcement is another step forward in accomplishing goals set forth in Augustana’s strategic plan Viking Bold: The Journey to 2030. The plan includes an effort to provide student-athletes the opportunity to compete at a higher level, elevate the university’s profile and inspire Sioux Falls to enthusiastically embrace Augustana University as its hometown team by serving the community and integrating its mission with the community’s needs. 

“Hockey is the right program at the right time for where Augustana is now, and it’s just been so affirming because of all the enthusiasm that our campus, alumni, community and donors have expressed,” said Augustana President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. “This is more than a men’s hockey program at Augustana. This is a university-wide initiative that has great potential impact for our city and region.”

The hockey program, which will compete at the NCAA Division I level, will be the Vikings’ 23rd collegiate sport and first of its kind in South Dakota. Augustana Athletics recently announced last month that it will be adding women’s lacrosse, also the first collegiate program of its kind in the state, regardless of division or affiliation.

With the facility first imagined by JLG ArchitectsEdgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate has been selected to manage the design, development and construction south of 33rd Street on S. Grange Avenue where the hockey team will practice and play games. The Midco Arena is planned for 3,000 seats, as well as luxury suites, providing a first-class experience for both student-athletes and sports fans. 

“There’s no better time in the history of college athletics to start a program. The hockey program, and what it means for our campus, is indescribable,” Augustana Director of Athletics Josh Morton said. “And, building a new facility — there’s something invigorating about it, not only for Augustana Athletics, but for the broader community. For Augustana to take that step — it separates us.”

Augustana plans to have a head coach for men’s hockey in place by May 2022, which will give the coach more than a year to build a roster.

Submissions are now being accepted for the Augustana Hockey Season Ticket Interest List. Fans interested in season tickets are encouraged to submit their contact information and desired number of tickets in the form provided at goaugie.com/HockeyTickets.

About Augustana University

Founded in 1860, Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is a selective, comprehensive university affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). With more than 100 majors, minors and pre-professional programs for undergraduates — along with graduate degrees and continuing education programs — Augustana is committed to enriching lives and fostering development by combining a foundation in the liberal arts with professional skill and advanced study.

Nationally recognized for academic excellence, student life, graduate outcomes and affordability, Augustana serves more than 2,000 students from 34 states and 48 countries. Most are part of our residential community and call our 100-acre campus home. Our graduate and continuing education programs serve students during times that are convenient for adult learners.

For more information about Augustana University, visit augie.edu.

About Augustana Athletics

Located in the heart of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Augustana University athletics is home to five team NCAA Division II National Championships while competing primarily in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC). Having won four national championships since 2010, the Vikings have shown broad-based athletics excellence by finishing in the top-20 of the Division II Learfield Director’s Cup standings in eight of the last nine years. In the classroom, Augustana has consistently led the NSIC in All-Academic honorees and tallied 44 Academic All-America honors over the past 10 years. 

Augustana Athletics Philosophy Statement

In support of Augustana University’s mission, Augustana Athletics aims to provide a student-athlete centered experience committed to distinction in the classroom, excellence in competition, and faithful service to community.  

For more information about Augustana Athletics, visit goaugie.com.

About Midco

Midco provides a superior network and an exceptional customer experience while being a force for good in the communities it serves. Midco is the leading provider of reliable, high-speed internet via fiber and fixed wireless technology. By 2025, Midco will deploy 10G, the next great leap for broadband – while also expanding its fiber network to rural areas. The company also delivers TV services including Midco Sports (a regional sports network), phone, data center and advertising services, plus wholesale networking solutions. Midco fiber serves 460,000 homes and businesses in 400 communities in Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Visit Midco.com to learn more about Midco and how the company has been giving back to communities since 1931.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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