Sacred Heart University’s Fairfield Campus will soon include a new hockey and skating arena built to support nearly 4,000 spectators. The arena will function as the home of the university’s Division I men’s and women’s hockey team, the nationally ranked figure skating team, and the men’s ice hockey club.
A portion of the facility will also serve as a classroom for students in sports communication and media, sports management, and hospitality programs. When the central skating rink is not in use for sporting events, free skate time will be available to students, faculty, staff, and the local community.
As the second largest independent Catholic university in New England, and one of the fastest growing in the United States, Sacred Heart offers more than 80 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and certificate programs on its Fairfield campus. The new $60 million arena is described as the continuation of a multi-year building and expansion program with a focus on bolstering the institution’s national status and overall appeal.
“This arena will be a game-changer for Sacred Heart University, our student-athletes and coaches, visiting teams, and the youth and families already supporting our athletic teams,” said Bobby Valentine, executive director of Sacred Heart University Athletics. “Not only does it provide a fitting venue for what will soon be a national hockey powerhouse, but it creates a halo effect that elevates all of our Division I athletic programs. It’s another example of Sacred Heart’s commitment to providing our student-athletes, students, and fans with a remarkable experience whenever they step on our campus.”
The $60 million arena is designed in collaboration by architects ALG and The S/L/A/M Collaborative. As a typical steel-framed sports facility, the structure is designed to support extremely long spans, vaulted ceilings, and minimal columns within the activated areas.
Construction will break ground this summer with full completion expected by 2022.