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   from the issue of January 10, 2008

Lincoln Ice Center to benefit UNL


UNL will benefit from a $7 million donation by John Breslow to create the Lincoln Ice Center.

Announced Dec. 20, the Lincoln Ice Center will be built in Lincoln's West Haymarket/Sports Triangle - defined by Memorial Stadium, Haymarket Park and a proposed west Haymarket arena. The center is expected to cost $11 million to $13 million.

Plans call for two indoor rinks, one Olympic-sized with an arena that could seat up to 1,500. The plans also provide for an outdoor rink and the ability to convert one of the indoor rinks for soccer, if additional funds are raised.

"It is anticipated that 80 percent of the cost will be privately funded," said Terry Fairfield, CEO of the University of Nebraska Foundation. "John Breslow's gift provides the leadership needed to spur future fundraising for the project."

Chancellor Harvey Perlman said the Ice Center will be a great benefit to intramural and club sports.

"John is an alumnus and long-time supporter of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln," Perlman said. "He has provided scholarship support to dozens of students, and this latest gift is even more evidence of his support and focus on students. Certainly, first-rate facilities like this one are part of the package that can attract students to enroll at UNL. Thus this project will contribute to the quality of life in Lincoln and make the university more attractive as well."

The University of Nebraska will own the ice facility, which will be professionally managed so that UNL intramural and club teams, city recreational leagues, high school club teams and the public equally benefit.

The Husker men's and women's hockey club teams will have office and locker room space in addition to several other locker rooms. There are no plans for UNL to field teams at the NCAA level.

The lead gift from Breslow will allow site planning and design to begin; construction will depend on site selection and fundraising progress.

Breslow and his family owned a Lincoln business, Linweld, for more than 60 years before selling the business last year. Breslow also served as Nebraska's State Auditor from 1991 to 1999. He is a hockey enthusiast and minority owner of the Phoenix Coyotes, a National Hockey League team.

Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler said the city and university will work out arrangements to share ice scheduling so UNL intramural and club teams, city recreational leagues and the public can use the additional ice.

The city and university aim to open the new facility by February 2010.

UNL and the City of Lincoln will contribute to some of the site selection and construction costs. Once the capital costs are paid, the facility's income and revenues are then projected by a UNL Campus Recreation feasibility study to cover the on-going operating and maintenance costs.



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