UND Today

University of North Dakota’s Official News Source

UND breaks ground for new athletics facility

New Nodak Insurance Company Sports Performance Center promises to be ‘game changer’ for UND Athletics

people throw shovels of dirt at a groundbreaking
UND and Nodak Insurance Company leaders toss out the ceremonial first shovelfuls of dirt at the groundbreaking ceremony commemorating the Nodak Insurance Company Sports Performance Center. Photo by Shawna Schill/UND Today

Editor’s note: The following press release by UND Athletics describes the groundbreaking ceremony that was held to mark the start of work on the Nodak Insurance Company Sports Performance Center. The facility is an addition to the Frederick D. Pollard Athletic Center. For more information about the construction project, people may reach out to Alec Stocker Johnson, assistant athletic director, at alec.stocker.johnson@und.edu.


GRAND FORKS, N.D. – As a fall crisp fittingly filled the air in Grand Forks, N.D., the University of North Dakota held its groundbreaking ceremony for the addition to the Frederick D. Pollard Athletic Center.

DeAnna Carlson Zink, CEO of the UND Alumni Association and Foundation, presented the opening and closing remarks, while UND President Dr. Andy Armacost and UND Director of Athletics Bill Chaves spoke about the impact the project will have on student-athletes at North Dakota.

“The start of work on the addition to the Fritz Pollard, Jr. Athletic Center is an important milestone for UND Athletics. We are so thankful for the vision of Nodak Insurance Company, and the other donors who have rallied behind this transformative project,” said Zink. “Their commitment fuels our student-athletes’ dreams and empowers their ambitions, underscoring the spirit of community that defines the University of North Dakota.”

The addition, which will be named the “Nodak Insurance Company Sports Performance Center,” highlights the dedication and commitment to North Dakota Athletics by Nodak Insurance Company, as President and CEO Jim Alexander spoke at the event to the several university staff, supporters, coaches and media in attendance.

“As a North Dakota company, we are proud to partner with UND on this project that will provide the coaches and university administration the opportunity to enhance the student-athlete experience and success while competing at the University of North Dakota,” said Alexander.

The Nodak Insurance Company Sports Performance Center will feature new team locker rooms for football, softball and men’s and women’s cross country/track & field, as well as a state-of-the-art weight room and sports medicine area that will be connected to the soon-to-be completed Memorial Village via an all-weather indoor Hawkway.

“We are simply not here today without our amazing donors that made this project possible,” said Chaves. “We are humbled as to what this day will mean for the approximate 200 student-athletes in the sports of softball, football and track and field. This addition gives our coaches an amazing opportunity to recruit and retain the best student-athletes for the next half-century – it is simply a game changer.”

The groundbreaking was a celebration of another step towards the completion of the master facilities plan that was announced by UND Athletics in September 2022.

“We are on the precipice of something amazing,” said Armacost. “A new facility made possible by our many donors, including Nodak Insurance Company, to be able to put this magnificent structure into place. Our student-athletes deserve it. This facility is going to yield an important step and growth of intercollegiate athletics here at the University of North Dakota.”

Construction is currently underway on the project and is expected to be completed by late 2024.

For more information on North Dakota Athletics, follow on social media @UNDsports or visit FightingHawks.com.