Ryan Companies to build Lee and Penny Anderson Arena

Ryan Companies US, Inc. has announces that it has been selected as the design-builder, in partnership with Crawford Architects, for the Lee and Penny Anderson Arena at University of St. Thomas.

With a 15-year history of more than 30 projects with the university, Ryan Companies is committed to delivering a facility that encompasses the school’s rich history while showcasing its bright future in Division I athletics.

Eric Engh, senior vice president of construction, Ryan Companies, said:

We’re proud of our longstanding relationship with the University of St. Thomas and are absolutely thrilled to partner with Crawford to bring a multi-purpose arena onto its campus. When we take on a project, we consider the impact it will have now and in the future. We instantly knew that the Lee and Penny Anderson Arena would bring lasting value to the campus and surrounding community.

Ryan A+E, Inc., the design studio of Ryan, and Crawford Architects will collaborate to design the multi-purpose arena and practice facilities, which will serve as the new home for the school’s men’s and women’s hockey and basketball programs.

The new arena complex will play a pivotal role in the St. Thomas’ ongoing transition to NCAA Division I athletics, while providing competition and training facilities for men’s and women’s athletics, plus commencement ceremonies, academic convocations, conferences, career fairs, and other events for the university and broader community. 

Fireplace Gameday View

Preliminary design concepts envision seating configurations that accommodate quick conversions between various athletic and university events. Spectators will be on top of the action as intimate seating and balconies will create an exclusive home-team advantage that will enhance the game-day experience for players and fans alike. On the outside, the design will represent an intersection of the school’s collegiate Gothic architecture and a more modern aesthetic.

LEED Silver certification will be pursued, which is a globally recognised symbol of sustainability achievement.

350+ high-level professionals from across the global sports & entertainment landscape were in attendance at ALSD International 2022 where issues pertaining to optimising revenue through New Builds, Renovations and Service Expansions were discussed and dissected. Check out the wrap video here.

David Murphy, owner and senior principal, Crawford Architects, said:

We are honoured by this selection and look forward to collaborating with Ryan and the University of St. Thomas to design and build this transformational project. Along with Ryan, Crawford Architects welcomes the challenge to create this iconic, ‘new-era’ arena complex that will become a legacy for generations of Tommies to come.

Tower Entry: Winter View

Joining the Ryan | Crawford team, Meyer Borgman Johnson will provide structural engineering and IMEG Engineers will provide mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) engineering. The project is expected to employ 400 – 550 trade professionals for the duration of construction. St. Thomas expects to break ground in 2024, with a target opening in fall 2025.

St. Thomas President, Rob Vischer, said:

St. Thomas has been evolving from small Catholic liberal arts college to a comprehensive national Catholic university, and the Lee and Penny Anderson Arena will be a powerful engine for that journey. We have worked with Ryan Companies on many projects over the years, and they always come through. On this arena project, which is so vital to our university’s future, we are proud to be partnering with Ryan once again.

The University of St. Thomas recently announced that it received a $75 million gift from Lee and Penny Anderson of Naples, Florida, for the arena. The donation is the single largest monetary gift ever given to a Minnesota university. St Thomas made history as the first Division III institution in the modern NCAA to transition directly to Division I.

Lee and Penny Anderson Arena in Basketball mode

About Ryan Companies US, Inc. 

Founded in 1938, Ryan Companies offers comprehensive commercial real estate services as a national developer, designer, builder, capital markets advisor and real estate manager with a focus on creating places for people to thrive. Ryan work spans a wide range of sectors and product types including healthcare, hospitality, industrial, mixed-use, multifamily, office, retail and senior living. Built on the foundation of integrity, honesty and community, Ryan has grown to more than 2,000 team members in 17 offices and has completed projects in nearly every state. 


About Crawford Architects

Crawford Architects is an award-winning international planning, architecture and interior design firm headquartered in Kansas City. As a professional services firm, Crawford Architects specialises in all aspects of the planning and design of multipurpose arenas, stadiums, athletic training centres, sports medicine facilities, entertainment venues, lifestyle & workplace facilities, and the mixed-use developments which accompany these projects. 


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The 2022 event featured a high-level conference, an exhibition showcasing industry-leaders, networking events and a very special tour of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium powered by THFC and Levy UK+I. Details on ALSD International 2023 to follow in the coming days…

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