UNLV hockey program gets a promotion - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

UNLV hockey program gets a promotion

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The University of Nevada, Las Vegas hockey team has been promoted to the next level of competition.

UNLV hockey will be playing Division I hockey next season.

"This is one of the boxes we needed to check off to get our ultimate goal," said Zee Khan, General Manager of UNLV hockey. 

The main goal for the hockey program is to become a member of the NCAA.

This current promotion to Division I is in the American Collegiate Hockey Association.

In order to keep moving up the team said they need to raise more than $15 million dollars to fund five years of the hockey program, as well as a Women's Lacrosse team, due to Title IX rules of bringing up a men and women sports team at the same time.

"We've been working with the women's lacrosse program, it's still a work in progress, but from an exposure standpoint this definitely helps us," said Khan.

And that exposure is what the team hopes will bring in that funding, as the team will now play other schools like Alabama, instead of lesser unknown teams.

"People are going to be drawn out to those games because they have attachments, whether that be from Vegas or the Midwest, you have more people attached to bigger schools," said Khan. 

The coaches and players said they have been playing and working for a promotion.

"The kids that we brought in were for this, they're built for a Division I program and a few of the kids are built for the end goal, which is the NCAA," said Anthony Vignieri Greener, UNLV hockey head coach.

Tuesday's announcement for Division I play has already been a win for the program, and this time next year the team looks to gain another assist with the Vegas Golden Knights playing.

"Las Vegas becoming an option for college hockey players and the NHL, that's something that even a few years ago was not a possible thing," said Khan.

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