Breaking Ice on Sacred Heart University’s New Hockey Arena

Sacred Heart University’s new hockey arena is a continuation of a multi-year expansion program to support student growth, engagement and personal development.


Sacred Heart University (SHU) recently broke ground on its $70 million hockey and skating arena located on the University’s west campus. The new facility will house Division I men’s and women’s hockey programs, the figure skating team, the men’s club team, and a new women’s program starting next fall.

“It is the continuation of a multi-year expansion program to support student growth, engagement and personal development,” said John J. Petillo, SHU’s president, in a statement. “This facility will serve our student-athletes both on and off the ice.”

The arena will be named for the Martire family, Frank and Marisa Martire, who gifted $5 million in support of the arena. Frank Martire is a 1969 graduate of SHU and a chairman of the university’s board of trustees.

Development and construction of the 122,158-square-foot facility is a collaboration among JLG Architects, the SLAM Collaborative, Dimensional Innovations and Consigli Construction.

Details of the new arena include:

The latest technology in ice management to support the 85-foot-by-200-foot NHL standard rink.
Technologically advanced locker rooms for student athletes.
A world-class strength and conditioning facility designed at a level consistent with the NHL.
A comprehensive sports medicine and hydrotherapy suite.
A rapid-shot puck room for off-ice training and team film.
Meeting and lounge spaces.
A pro-motion training harness in addition to a specifically designed Olympic-level locker room for SHU’s figure skating team.
In addition to guest lectures, concerts and other activities, there will be reserved open skating time available to students, faculty, staff and community members.

“Sacred Heart spent a lot of time focusing on the fan experience,” said Jim Barquinero, the senior vice president of Enrollment and Athletics, in a statement. “We want this arena to be a destination for fans and families to enjoy cheering on the Pioneers. From fan engagement, youth programs, high school games and open skate, all are welcome.”

Another part of the multi-year expansion program at SHU includes the three-story, 56,000-square-foot Bobby Valentine Health & Recreation Center, that opened August 2019. Learn more about the center in the upcoming Building Blocks feature in the May/June issue of Campus Rec Magazine.