ANCHORAGE – University of Alaska Anchorage Chancellor Tom Case announced Thursday that the new on-campus arena, scheduled to open fall 2014, will be named the Alaska Airlines Center, in recognition of a newly forged 10-year agreement with the airline.
The new deal, which begins July 1, 2013, includes $1 million to create a new scholarship endowment for UAA Seawolf student-athletes, plus an enhanced athletics sponsorship contract valued at $5.3 million. A large portion of this agreement will provide travel sponsorship for UAA’s athletic teams. Travel costs are one of the program's most significant expenses.
Alaska Airlines is a long-time partner of the University of Alaska and has been a generous sponsor and supporter of UAA Athletics for more than 30 years. This new agreement ensures a continued partnership between UAA and Alaska Airlines for the next 10 years, with an option to renew for an additional five years.
“We are proud to honor Alaska Airlines’ historical and future financial commitment to UAA by naming our newest facility the Alaska Airlines Center,” said Chancellor Case. “Once open, the Alaska Airlines Center will provide tremendous opportunities for our students and will be a significant community asset, both locally and statewide. This university-industry partnership with Alaska Airlines will help ensure our students’ academic and athletic success.”
Once fully funded, the Alaska Airlines Scholar Athletes Endowed Scholarship will provide approximately $40,000 in scholarship support annually.
“We’ve been flying young athletes to their away games for decades and understand how much high school and college-level sports are part of the fabric of the state’s communities,” said Marilyn Romano, Alaska Airlines’ regional vice president in the state of Alaska. “We’re very proud to continue supporting young adults with this new scholarship endowment and the community at large by having our name associated with a beautiful new arena that will host sports as well as other community events.”
UAA received $15 million from the Alaska legislature in 2009 to begin planning for the new arena. In 2010, Alaska voters approved a bond measure that provided $60 million for the new arena, and the legislature provide the balance to complete the project. The 5,600-seat arena is expected to host UAA athletic competitions, high school and college graduations, concerts, youth camps and other community events.
Alaska Airlines, a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together with its partner regional airlines, serves 95 cities through an expansive network in Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. Alaska Airlines has ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Network Carriers” in the J.D. Power and Associates North America Airline Satisfaction StudySM for five consecutive years from 2008-12. For reservations, visit www.alaskaair.com. For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines Newsroom at www.alaskaair.com/newsroom.