A Shac fit for champions
I won't speculate at how most Bison fans feel about the acronym chosen for the new athletic center on the campus of NDSU but I for one think it could have been workshopped. If nothing else, it will give plenty of opportunity of shack related world plays to happen. For those who don't know, NDSU just unveiled the Sanford Health Athletic Complex (SHAC) with a basketball game tonight. It will be a multi-purpose, multi-sport facility. What didn't need workshopping was the facility itself.
I would have liked to have been able to see the extent of the complex. The weight room, wrestling area and study areas were all keep from public viewing. So this not a complete of the SHAC, but of what I was able to see...and taste.
The main entrance is impressive. Modern but not in the ridiculous way that some use the modern style. The still developing hall of fame area is already a nice touch and will likely be a great extra once it's complete. The crowd on the night was thin so it's doesn't seem reasonable to make a guess as to how the flow into and out of the arena through both entrances will be on a big night but it did go smoothly tonight.
The two level design of the Scheels Center (the basketball specific part of the complex) made for easy access to seating and create several areas for congregation or to grab food. There are pieces of art placed throughout the halls and stairways which highlight the championship history for each athletic program.
The food was mostly standard fare but tasted good and smelled appealing. There were two small food courts on the upper deck consisting of food carts, which create flexibility for future offerings. In addition there are two concessions stands on the main level with many of the normal items.
In the seating area itself, the bowl is roughly 85% of padded individual seats with one end consisting of benches. One of the neatest touches was the addition of stitched Bison logos on at 60% of the seats.
If I were to identify one particular thing as the biggest improvement from the BSA it would be the scoreboard. The high resolution display, the score display and having screens facing each side of the arena make it a great improvement from what was. Sort of like the frosting on a cupcake. A cupcake that not only reclaims basketball arena supremacy in the region but more importantly is a requisite division one basketball center.
Sure there are things which could have been improved but even the 1+ Billion dollar Vikings stadium got complaints so some people will never be satisfied. For the roughly 50 million dollars that it cost, the construction team did an impressive job! So while the acronym is silly, the facility & hopefully the teams that play there this year and in the future will be far from that!