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Thefts at Sullivan Arena may delay hockey team return

The Anchorage Wolverines might have to wait longer than expected to play inside the Sullivan Arena.
 Sullivan Arena
Sullivan Arena (KTUU)
Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 10:16 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) -The Anchorage Wolverines are a new junior hockey team in town. They’re the 29th team in the North American Hockey League set to compete in the Midwest division.

“We’re excited to have them, I think the community has some good buzz going for it,” said Jon Dyson, general manager of the Sullivan Arena. “It will be great you know, anybody that misses having the Aces or UAA around, you know, there’s that need for hockey — high-caliber hockey.”

The return of hockey in Anchorage means more crowds and games at the arena, but that might not be happening as soon as they thought because of an ongoing issue with thefts at the facility.

“It’s a little frustrating, you know,” Dyson said. “It’s kind of a situation that we’re seeing a lot of vandalism, thefts, things like that going on.”

Recently the arena had a lot of items disappear, including the ones that are used to host indoor events and sports.

“There’s been a variety of things,” Dyson said. “It’s anything from fire extinguishers to staging and staircases from inside — you know, metal, anything they can either look to build some sort of shelter or anything that they can find of value, I’m guessing.”

He said the Anchorage Parks and Recreation department has helped them recover some of those items, but other items are still missing.

Currently the Bean’s Cafe Shelter is being housed in the arena. They’re supposed to move out in the coming months, but right now it’s uncertain what kind of damage might be inside.

“There’s certainly gonna be some maintenance, enough to take care of the missing items and some of the trash and waste and debris and in terms of the broken things that need to be repaired,” Dyson said.

Despite some setbacks and frustrations, the Wolverines hope to be able to play in the Sullivan Arena by October.

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