The University of Maine’s Alfond Arena will have a new scoreboard that will include a large video screen for replays.
Maine athletic director Blake James said the scoreboard will cost in the vicinity of $700,000 and the money will come from the athletic department budget. It should be ready for next season.
“This will give the atmosphere in the Alfond Arena a tremendous boost,” said James. “For the fans in obstructed-view seats and those who may have missed something exciting that happened, they’ll be able to see everything.
“It’ll be a wonderful addition to our arena and will be a tremendous benefit to our men’s the women’s hockey and basketball programs,” added James.
That is one of several projects for James and the athletic department.
“Our biggest need right now is the renovation of the Memorial Gym,” said James.
He continues fund-raising for the $12.5-million project, which would add 1300 seats to give the facility a capacity of 3100.
That would enable the men’s and women’s basketball programs to have their own facility instead of sharing Alfond Arena with the men’s and women’s hockey teams.
The basketball teams get limited practice time at the Alfond Arena but play all of their home games there with the exception of an occasional game at The Pit, the nickname given to the Memorial Gym.
James was quick to point out that “every piece of the building” will be renovated including the offices.
He said new facilities like Agganis Arena at Boston University and one on the drawing board at the University of Vermont requires “us to keep investing in our facilities.”
He said “we’re aggressively as much money as he can” by contacting potential donors to discuss the importance of upgrading their facilities.
He said he is hoping that the renovation of the Memorial Gym can become a reality in the next five years.
Morse Field in Alfond Stadium where the football team plays will have a new player-friendly FieldTurf surface next season and the field hockey team will have an AstroTurf-type surface on its new field next to the softball field.
Seamless glass and new boards at Alfond Arena are also on his “long list of things we need to accomplish.”
Younan to play Alfond finale
Tonight is Senior Night for the University of Maine women’s basketball team.
This season, the Black Bears have only one senior to honor prior to the 7:30 p.m. America East game against new Hampshire at Alfond Arena in Orono.
Kris Younan, a 5-foot-7 guard from Chicago, will play her final home game for UMaine.
The speedy Younan has been an Alfond fan favorite because of her intensity and flair for the dramatic on the offensive end.
She has had her best season during 2007-08 and leads the Bears in several statistical categories. Younan is tops on the team in average minutes played (29.0), assists (3.0), steals (2.1) and turnovers (3.9).
In fact, Younan is the only player in America East to rank in the top five in both assists and steals, where she stands third and tied for fifth, respectively.
Younan’s importance to the ballclub has been magnified since UMaine lost freshmen guard Emily Rousseau of Biddeford to a knee injury.
Younan tied her career scoring high earlier this season, tossing in 18 points with five rebounds and six assists in the Bears’ home win over Boston University.
Cindy Blodgett is the third coach for whom Younan has played during her four seasons in Orono. She was originally recruited by Sharon Versyp.
Younan has played in 90 career games, making 50 starts, for UMaine. The new media major plans to graduate in May.