Listen to this story
Tennessee State made headlines when they announced they were looking to start an ice hockey program.
Mikki Allen, Tennessee State’s athletics director, made the announcement with Nashville Predators President and CEO Sean Henry, who will help raise money for the Tigers to launch the first NCAA Division I HBCU men’s and women’s ice hockey teams.
“We have tremendous partnerships with the NHL and Sean Henry and the Predators behind us 110%,” said Allen to the Tennessean. “Now we are assembling a TSU Friends of Hockey Fundraising Team. We are looking for other corporations. It could be a private gift out there or a public gift that could really help ignite this and propel us to where this becomes a reality. “
The announcement took place during the NHL Black History Tour Museum’s stop at Tennessee State, the perfect opportunity to add more Black history to the ice.
The goal is exciting, but funding, maintaining and growing an ice hockey program isn’t cheap.
The school will need lots of money to cover scholarships, an arena, equipment, travel and other operational expenses. That’s why having an NHL team’s assistance is so important.
But it’s not a spur of the moment decision. They’ve been discussing and exploring the idea since last spring.
“It’s a substantial investment; it’s not a cheap sport to play at the grassroot level,” he said. “And it’s not a sport that you can not fund at a high level if you want to do it right.”
This content has been brought to you by First and Pen in partnership with TheHub.News. First and Pen — “Informing, inspiring and connecting through voices of color in sports.”