Sports in Alaska


Sports in Alaska

Alaska is home to a number of sports teams and events, nearly all of which are based or located in Anchorage, Alaska, the state's largest city. In Anchorage, the Sullivan Arena is home to the Alaska Aces of the ECHL and the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves of the NCAA division I. The city's only other professional franchise is the Alaska Wild, an arena football team that began playing with the Intense Football League in April 2007. A third professional franchise scheduled to begin play in November 2008 is the Alaska Dream, a basketball team in the ABA. The Anchorage Bucs Baseball Club is a summer collegiate baseball team, attracting players from universities throughout the world. The Anchorage Glacier Pilots are a member of the National Baseball Congress. Both baseball clubs play at Mulcahy Stadium.

The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. It has Division I teams in gymnastics and hockey, as well as several other Division II teams.

Anchorage hosts a number of sporting events. UAA sponsors the annual Great Alaska Shootout, an annual NCAA Division I basketball tournament featuring colleges and universities from across the United States. Anchorage is the finish line for the Sadler's Ultra Challenge wheelchair race, and holds the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. The city was a candidate for hosting the 1992 and 1994 Winter Olympics, but it lost to Albertville and Lillehammer respectively.

Anchorage is probably the premier cross-country skiing city on the planet, in terms of density of groomed trails within the urban core. There are 105 miles of maintained ski trails in the city, some of which reach downtown. The same trail system also provides access to Chugach State Park, a 495,000-acre high alpine park. [http://www.muni.org/parks/Trails.cfm"] The Tour of Anchorage is an annual 50-kilometer ski race within the city. [ [http://www.tourofanchorage.com/ Tour of Anchorage ] ]

There are four rugby clubs in Anchorage, including the Bird Creek Barbarians RFC, Anchorage Thunderbirds [ [http://www.thunderbirds.20m.com Home ] ] , Mat Valley Maulers RFC, and Spenard Green Dragons. [ [http://www.birdcreekrfc.com/ Alaska Rugby - Bird Creek Barbarians RFC ] ] The season runs from April through September.

Many notable professional sports figures are from Anchorage. They include:
*Matt Carle, NHL hockey player for the Tampa Bay Lightning
*Brandon Dubinsky, NHL ice hockey player for the New York Rangers
*Scott Gomez, NHL hockey player for the New York Rangers
*Trajan Langdon, American basketball player for CSKA Moscow
*Josh Phelps, MLB baseball player for the Pittsburgh Pirates
*Mark Schlereth, Former NFL guard and current ESPN football analyst
*Dave Williams (baseball), MLB pitcher for the New York Mets
*Shawn Chacon, Pitcher for the Houston Astros
*Ty Conklin, NHL goalie for the Detroit Red Wings
*Curt Schilling, former starting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox
*Erik Ellington, Professional Skateboarder
*Mario Chalmers, guard for the Kansas Jayhawks men's basketball team
*Zackary Bowman, cornerback for the Chicago Bears
*Alan Alborn, American Olympian Ski Jumper, 2002 Winter Olympics


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