St. Thomas announces future plans for hockey, softball and baseball facilities – TommieMedia

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St. Thomas will imagine a brand new on-campus hockey facility in its future plans, St. Thomas Athletics introduced Tuesday by means of an electronic mail to the campus group.

Phil Esten, vice chairman and director of athletics at St. Thomas, additionally up to date scholars, school and body of workers about future plans for off-campus baseball and softball facilities.

“We’ve said from the start we would examine every option to find a solution to best suit the university’s needs,” Esten stated. “After exploring multiple off-campus sites, we can confidently say a new on-campus home for hockey is the best path forward.”

Esten shared that the brand new facility will perform as a “multipurpose facility” open for group engagement alternatives “in addition to serving as a home for our men’s and women’s hockey programs.”

“South campus is the likely destination for such a facility, and earlier this month we issued a formal request for proposal (RFP) to invite prospective design-build partners to submit for the opportunity to bring this to life,” Esten wrote.

St. Thomas junior Rylee Fitzgerald stated she is having a look ahead to the potential for having on-campus hockey.

“I think that it’s exciting because I personally really like hockey,” Fitzgerald stated. “It’s just a little bit of a pain in the butt right now to go to the games. Not everyone has a car so you have to make sure you have a way to get there and all that, so I’m personally really excited.”

With hockey on South Campus, Esten wrote that the softball and baseball groups would most likely transfer off campus to “allow the current baseball and softball field space to be repurposed for other athletic and campus recreation needs (e.g., intramurals and club sports).”

However, Fitzgerald thinks shifting the 2 groups off campus may create problems with equality.

“I get there’s not room, but the whole thing that was unfair about hockey being off campus was that it was off campus and they would have to travel to get to practice and all that; now you’re just creating that issue again,” Fitzgerald stated.

Esten wrote that St. Thomas has partnered with St. Paul Port Authority to “begin an environmental cleanup” of the Highland Bridge location close to the outdated Canadian Pacific Railway assets. After the environmental cleanup, Esten wrote that St. Thomas has agreed to buy the valuables.

However, prior to development anything else, Esten wrote that St. Thomas should have sufficient budget to give a boost to the initiatives.

“To be financially responsible, we will only finalize plans once we have secured sufficient funds through philanthropy and corporate partnerships,” Esten wrote. “Building infrastructure is hard work, but we have enjoyed the commitment from so many partners – from student and academic affairs to collegiate and business units – in our campus community to support our D-I experience.”

Cam Kauffman will also be reached at

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