While visiting recently with Dave Young, a friend of many years, Dave suggested that Patti and I enjoy a meal at the Varsity Sports Grill located in the Alaska Airlines Center here in Anchorage.
Alaska Airlines is ‘our very own’ Alaskan Airline.
When it comes to recommendations, I listen very closely to Dave. So out and off Patti and I went to find and to visit the Varsity Sports Grill.
I am going to start off with several maps to give you an orientation to the photos that follow.
The first map below shows the State of Alaska and the City of Anchorage ( red balloon ).
The second map below shows where the University of Alaska Anchorage, Providence Hospital ( lower left red balloon ) and the Alaska Airlines Center are located within the City of Anchorage.
Here we go to see the above features alive and up close.
In the upper right of the above photo the letters UAA stand for The University of Alaska Anchorage. The Alaska Airlines Center is a multi-purpose facility.
The Center is the home of the UAA Basketball, Volleyball, Gymnastic and other UAA athletic teams. It also hosts various local cultural and business events.
Above and below are photos of a UAA Seawolf. The Seawolf is the logo of the UAA Sports Teams.
I could not get one single really clean and clear photo discussing the history and the evolution of The Seawolf.
Below is the above writing.
The Legend of the Seawolf
Derived from multiple legends in Native Alaskan folklore, the University of Alaska Anchorage adopted the moniker ‘Seawolves’ for its intercollegiate athletic teams in 1977, coinciding with UAA’s ascension to a 4-year university and the beginning of its official membership in the NCAA.
From 1972 until 1977, the school’s athletic teams had been known as the Sourdoughs – meaning a longtime Alaskan – however that mascot was abandoned in favor of something fiercer and more recognizable to those outside the 49th State.
Still in search of something uniquely Alaskan, which would celebrate the state’s rich cultural history, former basketball coach Bob Rachal researched the legends of the tribes of Southeast Alaska and discovered a striking totemic creature that appeared to be half wolf/half sea creature.
Although known as Gonakadet in the Tlingit tradition and Wasco by the Haida, this formidable creature was commonly referred to as the ‘Sea-Wolf.’ Among the most common fables was a version in which a noble young man, resilient in nature, uses his ingenuity to conquer the Sea-Wolf. Clad in the animal’s skin, he uses its strength and magical powers to fish for sea life, thereby saving his village from starvation.
Simultaneously strong, generous and humble, the Sea-Wolf was also said to bring great luck and wealth to anyone fortunate enough to spy it, or hear its soulful howl. The name fit perfectly with UAA and the image it wished to portray.
Alternately called the Sea Wolves or Sea-Wolves in those early days, the nickname was simplified to Seawolves prior to the 1978-79 season. The Seawolf logo of today was introduced in 1985, a creation of Clark Mishler & Associates of Anchorage. Sleek and modern, yet still representative of the totemic tradition, the Seawolf logo stands as one of the most unique in all of college sports. Thank You to Google and to the UAA Media Relations Department.
I found the development of the UAA Seawolf fascinating.
Below are photos of the North entrance to the Alaska Airlines Center.
As you will see by the sky in the outdoor photos in this Post, we have been enjoying cool cloudy rainy weather with temperatures for the most part in the upper 50s and low 60s.
Several close up photos of the North entrance.
Using the Seawolf logo above as orientation, the below photo looks back across the North entrance of the Alaska Airlines Center at Providence Hospital (or ‘Prov’ as we call it), the largest hospital in the State of Alaska.
In the below photo of Providence Hospital, the Alaska Airlines Center is just out of the photo to the left.
At this point in our lives, both Patti and I have more-than-a-few vivid memories of ‘Prov’ and medical care we have received there!
The time has come for us to find the Varsity Sports Grill.
The North entrance to the center is on the left side of the below photo and the South entrance is on the right side.
The below photo of the South entrance gives you an idea of the size of the Alaska Airlines Center.
The parking area for The Center is adjacent to the South entrance.
Therefore, most of the people who visit The Center, enter the South entrance. Patti likes to call the South entrance the ‘main’ entrance.
Note again the UAA logo at the top right below and the Seawolf logo as well as the Varsity Sports Grill logo.
We have stepped inside of the center.
The above photo was taken from the South entrance looking North.
The below photo was taken from the North entrance looking South.
A close up photo of the above main floor.
I am here-to-shout! This is one fine, VERY FINE, facility!
There are MANY adjunct athletic facilities in this phenomenal multi-purpose center.
Below is the Student Athlete Strength & Conditioning Center.
The Campus Fitness & Recreation Center.
Did all of you watch the 2016 Rio Olympics and see the U.S.A. Gymnastic Team members participate?
A small gymnasium for inter mural and other sporting activities.
An indoor running track.
The primary Gymnasium for UAA intercollegiate athletic events.
Taa – Daa ! Voila !
In the above and below photos, across the Intercollegiate Gymnasium, located up on the 4th level of the Alaska Airlines UAA Center you see the Varsity Sports Grill.
“Oh my goodness Captain! I thought you had completely forgotten the reason you took all of these photos. I am so hungry thinking about eating I can hardly wait for the food to appear.”
We are now inside of the Varsity Sports Grill.
To the left of the below photo you can see the window wall and the scoreboard of the Intercollegiate Gym.
Patti and I sat beside the window wall (right side below) that looks out over the Intercollegiate Gym.
The view from our table looking out the window wall at the Intercollegiate Gym.
FOOD ! At last ! Food !
Pasta chicken salad with Avocado. It was even better than it looks here.
A Hummus Platter with kalmati olives, roasted garlic, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and flat bread. The Hummus Platter was ‘To Die For’ good!
There is even an outside dining area for the Varsity Sports Grill.
First you leave the main dining room.
Up the ramp and out the door above is the outdoor dining facility.
But before we go outside I want to show a few close up photos of the display you see on the right wall above.
The UAA Seawolf win that shocked the basketball world. Read on.
The Division I, NCAA Champion Michigan Wolverines, losing to the Division II UAA Seawolves, 70 – 66.
Now we are going outside to see the exterior dining facility of the Varsity Sports Grill.
Our white, Chevrolet Suburban, Mister R. Richardson Richtoffen, in the foreground below.
The above photo shows the large parking area for the center.
The above and the below photos show the outside dining area of the Varsity Sports Grill as viewed from ground level outside the South entrance to the center.
Thank you once again Dave for suggesting that Patti and I enjoy a meal at the Varsity Sports Grill and the UAA Alaska Airlines Center. Our lives are richer for our now several visits.
Smiles from Patti and myself enjoying the cool 50F weather.
Epilogue. This Post is just another of my ‘ I will just take a few photos’ of the Varsity Sports Grill and put them online. A seemingly simple effort that evolved into a multi photo experience as I got to really-know the UAA Alaska Airlines Center.