New hockey arena opens up at Sacred Heart University

The Martire Family Arena will host Pioneers’ hockey for the first time.

FAIRFIELD, CT (WFSB) – In college hockey, programs across the state are in the thick of their seasons, but Sacred Heart University will have opening night festivities this weekend.

The Martire Family Arena will host Pioneers’ hockey for the first time.

The brand-new facility has 3,600 seats and locker rooms for both the men’s and women’s teams, along with a weight room.

After going back and forth between arenas for decades, Sacred Heart now has a place to call home right on campus.

“To finally have a facility where we have all that in one building is unbelievable and we’re super excited to be here,” said Neil Shea, Sacred Heart Senior Forward.

“It’s just incredible I’ve been talking about this for a long, long time. It’s beyond words. Every time we walk into this place, you see something new You see something different. The wait has been well worth it,” said Thomas O’Malley, Sacred Heart women’s hockey head coach.

Sacred Heart believes their new facility will give them a chance to stand out against three other Division 1 programs.

“Kids that maybe would’ve gone to a Quinnipiac, Sacred Heart’s going to get that kid. Kids that would’ve went to UConn, we’re gonna get that kid now. We’ve had many of those kids over the past, we’re just gonna get more now,” says O’Malley.

The men’s team will host Boston College on Saturday night while the women will play Harvard on Sunday afternoon.