Photo courtesy NCHChockey.com
After years of fundraising, the University of Denver hockey team is finally getting its much-needed locker room upgrade. According to Mike Chambers of the Denver Post, DU has officially given the green light to the $2.1 million upgrade to be completed by the time the puck drops on the 2017-18 season.
The program had been finding it difficult to secure the needed funds to finally make this happen until DU alumnus and board of trustee member John Miller gave the project a significant donation. In turn, the upgraded facilities will be named the Miller Hockey Complex, which will double the size of the current facilities from roughly 3,800 square feet to 7,000 square feet.
Said Miller in a statement:
The combination of academic and athletic success at the University of Denver is unparalleled nationwide. We, as alumni, must continue to support our student-athletes in both academic programs and athletic facilities. My family and I are pleased to support the hockey complex project as it further demonstrates the University of Denver’s commitment to excellence.
Over the past decade, college athletics has seen somewhat a facilities “arms race.” From football to basketball and even to hockey, to stay up-to-date and compete for top recruits, programs have found the need to invest heavily in facilities upgrades. Denver wasn’t slow on the uptake as they started raising funds for this project while George Gwozdecky was still at the helm of the program.
While the process didn’t go as quickly as many had hoped, but thanks to more than 140 donors, including 70 former players, it got done and DU will finally be able to close the gap between them and programs like North Dakota and Omaha in the arms race. Denver was already an attractive program for top recruits, but the new facilities will keep Denver atop the college hockey world for years to come.
“With the Miller Hockey Complex, DU hockey will maintain its leadership among the nation’s elite programs for years to come and we can’t wait to see the final product later this year,” Montgomery said to the Denver Post.
According to the Post’s report, the new facilities will include a players’ lounge, off-ice training, hydrotherapy pools, nutrition station, study area, and will prominently feature various moments in DU hockey history for any passersby.
This is a major step forward for an already elite program. Denver wasn’t exactly losing out on recruits before, but the new complex will only make DU’s case stronger in the minds of top prospects.