St. Thomas Raises $87M for Arena Project

Since January’s announcement of the historic $75 million gift from Lee and Penny Anderson, the University of St. Thomas has continued its work on design and funding for the Lee and Penny Anderson Arena. In support of a $131 million fundraising goal to fund design and construction of the arena, Tommie Athletics announced an additional $12 million has been committed through anonymous donations. This brings the total raised in support of the arena to $87 million in less than two months. 

“We’re extremely enthusiastic about the interest and excitement we have seen both locally in the Twin Cities and nationally for the Lee and Penny Anderson Arena,” St. Thomas President Rob Vischer said. “It has become even more apparent how important the arena will be as a community and economic asset to the city of St. Paul, the Twin Cities, the state of Minnesota, and the region.”

Scheduled to open in fall 2025 subject to completion of fundraising, the Lee and Penny Anderson Arena will serve as the new home for women’s and men’s hockey and basketball, as well as provide a home for St. Thomas commencement ceremonies, academic convocations, speakers, career fairs and other university and broader community events.

Rendering of the Lee and Penny Anderson Arena, which is projected to open fall 2025 on St. Thomas’ south campus.

“We could not be more thankful for the support of these incredible individuals,” said St. Thomas Vice President and Director of Athletics Phil Esten. “Their passion for this project has allowed us to continue to move forward, and the impact these gifts will have on St. Thomas will be felt for decades to come. These gifts help St. Thomas continue its upward trajectory in athletics and as an institution.“

Throughout the last two months of fundraising, Ryan Companies and Crawford Architects have advanced their programming and conceptual design work with key campus stakeholders, while the university has engaged in key city and neighborhood conversations.

The Lee and Penny Anderson Arena also will provide opportunities for St. Thomas to partner with local schools, youth sports organizations, nonprofits, businesses and other organizations.

Visit the Lee and Penny Anderson Arena webpage to learn more about supporting the arena’s construction or reach out to the Tommie Athletic Fund at