Sacred Heart University (SHU) is now home to a world-class collegiate ice arena that is the permanent home for the University’s men’s and women’s hockey, figure skating, and club teams. With a design led by JLG Architects, the 122,580 SF project was designed to be the “crown jewel” of the campus within a multi-year building and expansion program that reflects the institution’s growth, national status, and commitment to community.
The 3,600-seat facility hosts the men’s and women’s NCAA Division I hockey programs, SHU’s nationally ranked figure skating team, the men’s and women’s club ice hockey teams, and is the home ice for Notre Dame High School and Fairfield High School’s youth programs. The Arena also serves as a practical learning laboratory/classroom for SHU students studying in the areas of sports communication & media, sport management, hospitality, and others. Martire Arena presents a design that elevates the fan experience from every point of view — starting with the grand entry plaza.
Fans are immersed in a gameday atmosphere unlike any other, including a 180-degree view overlooking Merritt Parkway — all through a state-of-the-art smart-glass wall system. Fans have access to eight rows of premium seating, youth activities on the concourse, and space designated for Connecticut’s thriving craft brew industry — and are fully engaged and entertained with a ring board and light show, a center-hung video scoreboard, and uninterrupted views across the ice. The design includes suite and club levels for hosting events and corporate outings, along with a Pro Shop for Pioneer fan gear, equipment, and skate sharpening. The design continues to celebrate SHU and its athletes through personalized NHL and Olympic-style hockey lockers and a team lounge with integrated branding and lighting to create a unique team atmosphere for both divisions.
Athletes also enjoy a video review theater, sports medicine suite, and strength training facility — all with the latest technology to make training and coaching more effective and recovery time faster and safer. This project was being completed in collaboration with SLAM Collaborative.