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Ice arena in the works for Sacred Heart University

Sacred Heart University is set to build a nearly 4,000-capacity, $60 million hockey and skating arena on its West Campus in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Scheduled for completion in 2022, the modern arena will feature a number of amenities for students and guests, including a pro shop, beer gardens, food venues, suites, meeting rooms and offices. Construction will begin this summer.

SHU President John J. Petillo said:

The facility will be home to our Division I men’s and women’s hockey programs, our nationally ranked figure skating team and our men’s club ice hockey team. It is the continuation of a robust, multi-year building and expansion program reflecting our significant growth, appeal and national status.

Jim Barquinero, senior vice president, enrollment, student affairs & athletics, added:

This arena will be the Division I intercollegiate skating crown jewel and a standout facility in the Northeast.

In addition to providing a sophisticated and beautiful home venue for our teams, it will serve our entire university community and residents throughout the region.

He said future plans call for the addition of a women’s club ice hockey team, synchronized skating and more.

Michael Kinney, senior vice president for finance, said:

The arena will be engineered to the highest standards, with enormous attention to detail and quality involving the design of locker and training rooms, spectator space and the rink itself.

It will include broadcast facilities and a wide range of complementary amenities.

Sacred Heart University hockey arena rendering

The building also will be used to host special events such as guest lectures, concerts, convocations and other activities open to students and the community. In addition, there will be ice skating time available to students, faculty, staff and community members.

Bobby Valentine, executive director of SHU athletics, said:

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. 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.

Petillo noted the new arena will also serve as a classroom for SHU students studying in the areas of sports communication & media, sport management, hospitality and others.

The arena is being designed by architectural firm JLG of North Dakota and the S/L/A/M Collaborative of Glastonbury.

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