BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Bemidji State University men’s and women’s basketball programs are putting their games on ice as they host Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference basketball action at the Sanford Center, Jan. 6, 7 and 10. The Beavers will host St. Cloud State University Friday, the University of Minnesota Duluth for a double header Saturday and will wrap up play at the area’s premier venue Tuesday when they host the University of Minnesota Crookston.
“We are excited about the opportunity to play basketball at the Sanford Center again,” commented BSU Director of Athletics Tracy Dill. “It is a beautiful arena with a lot of excellent opportunities from the technical aspect to the atmosphere and amenities.
“It is an excellent showcase for Beaver Basketball.”
The Sanford Center broke ground in April of 2009 and officially opened doors in October of 2010. The 4,373-seat arena is home to the BSU men's and women's hockey teams. Coupled with the attached, George W. Nielson Convention Center, the venue serves as host to everything from hockey to concerts, wedding receptions, expos, conventions, meetings, rodeos, graduation ceremonies and, of course, basketball.
Tatum Sheeley, a senior captain of the BSU women’s basketball team will play at Sanford Center for the third consecutive season.
“It’s always fun,” she commented. “It is an amazing facility and we won there last year so we are looking forward to it that much more.
“Everyone is super excited.”
BSU and the Sanford Center teamed up with Sanford Health to shift Beaver Basketball to the Sanford Center for the first time in 2014-15. That season, the Beavers hosted Concordia University-St. Paul and Minnesota State University, Mankato. The success of the event and the transition of the ice arena to a basketball venue translated in to making the move an annual affair for BSU and sparked the Holmark Homes high school basketball tournament.
“The Sanford Center is a first-class venue,” said BSU Head Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Boschee. “It is good for the fans and it is good for us as players. It’s something that I think everyone is excited about.” He added, “Hopefully that translates into really good play.”
The six-game game college basketball week will get underway at 6 p.m., Friday when the BSU women’s basketball team hosts St. Cloud State followed by the BSU men’s team versus the Mavericks at 8 p.m. Saturday the BSU women tip off against Minnesota Duluth at 4 p.m., with the men to follow at 6 p.m. The Beavers wrap up the week of play Tuesday when they host Minnesota-Crookston. The women’s game will get underway at 6 p.m., while the men will tip off at 8 p.m.
“I think everyone is really pumped to play [at the Sanford Center]. It is a lot of the guys’ first experience playing there and it will be a different experience,” said men’s basketball freshman Jai’Vionne Green. “It should be fun.”
Tickets are available now at the Sanford Center Bob Lowth Ford Pickup Window. Single-game, general admission tickets begin at $5 for youth, $6 for senior citizens and $10 for adults with limited number of $15 courtside reserved seats available for each game. Fans can also purchase a ticket in one of the venue’s 25 suites for $20 per day.
The first 150 youth to the games Friday and Saturday will receive a voucher for free popcorn upon entry.
For information about tickets for this special BSU basketball event, contact Taylor at (218) 441-4031 or visit the Sanford Center Bob Lowth Ford Pickup Window.