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Power Play News


Inaugural OneSPiRIT: Global Hockey Festival
October 11, 2014

Join your fellow Tigers at the Gene Polisseni Center at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11 for the inaugural One SpiRIT: Global Hockey Festival, as we share our rich hockey tradition with our international campuses. The festivities outside the Polisseni Center will feature live music, tailgating games and much more. RIT's campuses in Kosovo, Dubrovnik, Zagreb and Dubai will join the festivities remotely through interactive technology as they host their own celebrations. RIT students, faculty, staff, alumni, family members and friends are invited to attend the festival free of charge. A special tailgate menu will be available for purchase at the RITZ Sports Zone.



The OneSpiRIT: Global Hockey Festival precedes an unforgettable hockey doubleheader, as RIT women’s hockey takes on Northeastern University at 3:05 p.m. and men’s hockey battles Clarkson University at 7:05 p.m. Tickets to both the women’s and men’s game are still on sale.

Be a part of this exciting new tradition bringing our campuses closer!

Gene Polisseni Center opens with a roar
September 18, 2014

RIT alumni, students, faculty, staff and the community got their first look at the Tigers' new $38 million den Thursday during a dedication ceremony.

Click here to read more.

Gene Polisseni Center Construction Update
April 29, 2014

While the weather warms up (finally!) outside, the work is really heating up inside the “Polisseum”!

  • We have completed outlining mechanical and electrical work, and the roof trusses have been painted.
  • The seating risers have been installed, ready for the seats that will hold many peoples’ names from our Take a Seat campaign.
  • The structural concrete slab for the ice sheet has been poured, and we anticipate putting the ice slab in place by June.

We are starting our exterior decorative block and brick work as well, so the outside of the arena will begin marching toward completion this fall as well. A dedication date will soon be decided, so stay tuned for that announcement, and please join us for this great event!

Gene Polisseni Center Construction Update
March 28, 2013

Later today, Thursday, March 28, the final pile will be driven down into bedrock on the future site of the Gene Polisseni Center at RIT. Over the past several weeks, LeChase Construction Services has overseen the pile driving process, with 651 piles driven down about 40 feet underground.

Much of the work on the project for the next several weeks will be invisible to the public, as LeChase is in the process of reviewing bids from subcontractors. The next phases of construction will include the concrete work and structural steel.

In reviewing the pile driving work, LeChase officials noted that the only surprise for that phase was that there were no surprises. All piles were driven exactly according to plan. Such a lack of surprises was especially critical, since the piles needed to be driven to within 6 inches of the specifications on the architectural renderings, and they must be plumb to within 1.6 inches.

The next phase of very noticeable work will commence toward the end of April. To monitor progress on the Gene Polisseni Center project, visit the live streaming page of the Tiger Power Play website at: www.rit.edu/powerplay.

Fans wishing to make a gift to the Tiger Power Play Campaign can also do so at that website.

Putting a "Green" seat in the orange house
October 1, 2013

Alumni seek to honor a Tiger hero and friend

RIT Men's Hockey alumnus, Green B. Williams '78, was as committed to his country as he was to RIT. Green played Tiger hockey from 1973 to 1977. After graduating, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force where he served with distinction. Tragically, he was killed in a pilot training accident in 1984. Today, RIT men's hockey athletes know of Green through the annual Green B. Williams Award for Academic Excellence, given to the men's hockey student athlete with the highest grade point average.

Alumni Tom Keene '75, and Jeff Begoon '78, have begun a movement to honor Green Williams in the new Gene Polisseni Center. Their campaign to make one seat “Green” in the new “orange house,” seeks to raise $50,000 to honor Green Williams' memory. Keene and Begoon have made the lead gifts toward this effort, and if they are successful in raising the balance, a single orange seat will be placed in the new arena's banks of brown seats as a reminder of Green's commitment to excellence and his Tiger Pride.

If you are able to help honor the memory of Green Williams through a gift to the Green B. Williams fund, please contact Adam Platzer, Director of Development, at asprar@rit.edu. Your gift will help Tiger Power Play: The Campaign for RIT Hockey, and will tell new generations of RIT hockey fans about Green Williams' courage and dedication.

Women's Hockey Uses Outstanding Effort to shut out Yale
October 20, 2012

The RIT women's hockey team (3-3-0) used a balanced attack to defeat Yale (0-2-0) by a score of 3-0 on Saturday afternoon at Blue Cross Arena in downtown Rochester. The game was part of RIT's Brick City Homecoming and Family Weekend.

Morgan Scoyne (Drumbo, Ontario), Celeste Brown (Great Falls, MT), and Erin Zach (Elmira, Ontario/Elmira Secondary) scored for the Tigers, who out-shot Yale, 36-21. In net, Ali Binnington (Oakville, Ontario) was outstanding, stopping all 21 shots she faced for her second shutout of the season. Brown and Zach also added an assist apiece in the win.

Read more on RIT Athletics »
New Chapter for Tiger Hockey begins with construction of Gene Polisseni Center
October 19, 2012

A new athletic venue and multi-purpose facility will soon rise on the RIT landscape. University leaders and dignitaries broke ground Oct. 19 on the 4,150-seat Gene Polisseni Center on the south side of campus. Construction will continue for two years with an opening planned for the 2014­­­-2015 season for the Division I men's and women's hockey teams.

“The popularity of our hockey teams has grown so much that we can't handle ticket demand from our fans,” says RIT President Bill Destler. “The Gene Polisseni Center will allow us to accommodate our fans and attract prominent teams from across the nation to play the Tigers on campus. The arena will also be a wonderful venue for the Rochester community to converge on the RIT campus.”

The Gene Polisseni Center will nearly double the current capacity of 2,100 spectators at Ritter Arena and provide modern amenities that will significantly enhance the game experience for Tigers fans. BBB Architects, a world-renowned architectural firm based in Toronto, created the arena's design. The firm specializes in sports and entertainment venues, serving as architects for the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, General Motors Place in Vancouver and the current redesign of Madison Square Garden in New York City. LeChase Construction Services, based in Rochester, has been selected to build the facility and manage its construction.

The Gene Polisseni Center site is directly south of the Student Alumni Union and adjacent to the existing athletic turf field. The location creates an “athletics spine” running north to south between the residence halls and the university's academic corridor. Additional sporting and student recreation facilities within close proximity to the new arena include Clark Gymnasium, Gordon Field House and Activities Center, RIT Stadium, the turf field, tennis courts and the Frank Ritter Arena, which will continue to remain open as an ice skating venue.

“Hockey has been a unifying force at RIT, so the location will be at the heart of campus,” says Mary-Beth Cooper, senior vice president of student affairs. “Enhancing the fan experience is among the key priorities in the design of the new arena.”

“This is a huge step for both of our hockey programs,” adds Lou Spiotti, executive director of intercollegiate athletics. “It paves the way for more team progress, stronger campus spirit and student engagement and enhanced connections with our alumni and the greater Rochester community.”

More than $9 million of the targeted $15 million fundraising goal has been raised as a result of Tiger Power Play — The Campaign for RIT Hockey. The multi-purpose facility will cost about $35 million. RIT is developing a business plan for the venue's operation intended to cover the remaining expenses. A $4.5 million partnership between the Polisseni Foundation and RIT trustee B. Thomas Golisano, founder and chairman of Paychex Inc., resulted in the naming of the facility as the Gene Polisseni Center.

RIT alumni Stephen Schultz '89 (computer science), co-founder and chief technical officer at Pictometry, and his wife, Vicki Schultz '94, '99 (business administration, MBA), presented the campaign's opening gift of $1 million in 2010. Trans-Lux Corp. and RIT alumnus J.M. Allain '03 (multidisciplinary studies) also issued an additional $1 million commitment to the campaign. Allain, Trans-Lux president and CEO, will donate a center-hung electronic scoreboard for the arena. The company is a leading supplier of programmable electronic information displays.

The future arena will be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Women's hockey battles hard in tough defeat to Princeton
October 19, 2012

The RIT women's hockey team (2-3-0) dropped a close contest, 2-1 to visiting Princeton (1-0-0) in a battle of the Tigers as part of RIT's Brick City Homecoming and Family Weekend in front of 1,350 fans at Ritter Arena on Friday evening.

With the game tied a 1-1 in the third, Sally Butler put home a rebound on a power-play with 6:56 left to give Princeton the lead. RIT pressured hard over the final two minutes and had a handful of great chances, but could not get the equalizer. Tenecia Hiller (Brampton, Ontario/St. Augustine Secondary) had two glorious chances in front with just under a minute left, but could not get clean shots off.

Read more on RIT Athletics »
Men's Hockey to host Penn State at Blue Cross Arena for Homecoming; Game is sold out
October 16, 2012

The RIT men's hockey team hosts the Penn State University Nittany Lions at Blue Cross Arena in downtown Rochester on Saturday, October 20 at 7:35 p.m. The game will be the focal point of RIT's Brick City Homecoming and Family Weekend and is officially sold out for the third straight season.

The Democrat and Chronicle, Fidelity Investments, and Bugaboo Creek Steakhouse are Saturday's sponsors. The first 7,000 fans in attendance will receive a free RIT Hockey t-shirt sponsored by Dr. James Watters, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration at RIT.

Read More on RIT Athletics »
LeChase chosen to lead construction of Polisseni Center
August 31, 2012

By: Nate Dougherty
Article from: Rochester Business Journal

Rochester Institute of Technology has chosen LeChase Construction Services LLC to build a new multipurpose arena on campus that will be home to the men's and women's Division I hockey teams, RIT officials were to announce today.

The Gene Polisseni Center will be a 135,000-square-foot, 4,000-seat arena that includes a single, high-quality ice sheet and athletic facilities. It will house varsity locker rooms, rooms for visiting teams, weight training facilities, concessions and office space.

The arena also will have club-level seating, a VIP lounge and the RIT Athletics Hall of Fame.

"The Gene Polisseni Center will be a wonderful centerpiece for our campus, and we are pleased to be partnering with the LeChase Construction team for this vital project," said William Destler, RIT president. "The Polisseni Center will offer a terrific fan experience, and it will be a clear demonstration of our commitment to enhancing student life and school spirit."

RIT initially unveiled plans for the center in 2010 and with that announcement started a $15 million campaign to raise the money to build it. At the time, RIT announced a $1 million gift from Stephen Schultz, an RIT alumnus and co-founder of Pictometry International Corp., and his wife, Vicky, also an alumna.

In November, RIT unveiled the name of the facility, which resulted from a $4.5 million gift commitment by the Polisseni Foundation and Thomas Golisano, founder and chairman of Paychex Inc. and an RIT trustee. Golisano also was owner of the National Hockey League's Buffalo Sabres for nearly a decade.

Gene Polisseni was vice president of marketing at Paychex until his death in 2001. He founded the Polisseni Foundation with his wife, Wanda.

The university now is more than halfway to the capital campaign goal for the Polisseni Center. The total cost of the project is expected to be $25 million to $30 million, with RIT slated to fund the remainder.

The current hockey venue, Ritter Arena, seats roughly 2,100 people, and RIT officials said they needed a space more conducive to a good fan experience. After making the move to Division I hockey in 2005, the RIT men's team reached the Frozen Four in 2009. The men's hockey coach said a new arena also could become a key factor for recruiting prospects in the future.

The new arena will be on RIT's campus near Global Village, which combines student housing with stores and restaurants with an international focus. The location in the middle of a hub of student activity will enhance the draw of the arena, said Kyle Sayers, executive vice president at LeChase.

"This is going to enhance the experience exponentially," Sayers said. "This will fit so many more people and bring a tremendous increase in energy. It's going to be great for Tiger Corner and bring such a great energy there."

No construction has been established yet for the arena, but Sayers said he expects ground to be broken in the fourth quarter of 2012.

LeChase and RIT are in the midst of another project, a facility for the Golisano Institute for Sustainability; construction began in spring 2011 and is expected to be completed this year.

For the Polisseni Center project, LeChase was chosen based on its local presence as well as international experience in building ice rinks and sporting arenas, RIT officials noted.

William Goodrich, president and CEO of LeChase, said the project will benefit not only RIT but the entire Rochester community. He added that the construction will cause minimal disruption on campus.

"Throughout construction, we will follow a strict safety and logistics plan to ensure well-being on the job site and at the RIT campus while limiting disruptions to students, faculty, staff and visitors," Good-rich said.

The arena, like all new building projects at RIT, is expected to meet the criteria for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification.

Though the project's specifics have not been finalized, the construction will focus on energy-efficient features like heating and cooling systems, Sayers said. LeChase will be able to use its existing relationships with energy-efficient producers to do this, he noted, adding that the Golisano Institute project is expected to be LEED Platinum.

Sayers said the project will benefit the entire region.

"I think this is going to be a huge attraction," he said. "Obviously, hockey is so big in the fall and winter, so this will be big for Rochester and the whole area. This will offer a different kind of venue than the Amerks', and it will be a huge draw and especially a good night out for families."

RIT Selects Official Site for New Hockey Arena
June 19, 2012

Gene Polisseni Center to be located directly south of Student Alumni Union

Plans for a new RIT hockey arena have taken another step forward with selection of the official site. University leaders have determined the Gene Polisseni Center will be constructed on the south side of campus—south of the Student Alumni Union.

The location, adjacent to the existing turf athletic field, creates an "athletics spine" running north to south between the residence halls and the university's academic corridor. Additional sporting and student recreation facilities within close proximity include Clark Gymnasium, Frank Ritter Arena, Gordon Field House and Activities Center, and RIT stadium.

James Watters, senior vice president for finance and administration, believes the chosen site is ultimately the most convenient for individuals attending hockey games and other activities at the Gene Polisseni Center.

"Its central location makes it accessible to all students residing on campus who will be within easy walking distance of the facility," says Watters. "Also, having it positioned south of the university's other venues will allow us to manage multiple events on campus simultaneously without creating significant traffic congestion."

An exact configuration for how the Gene Polisseni Center will be positioned in relation to the current campus landscape is still being determined, but RIT officials expect that a large portion of the parking spaces located in U Lot will be relocated. BBB Architects, lead architects for the project, is expected to present formal design plan for the arena later this summer.

Meanwhile, RIT continues its Tiger Power Play-The Campaign for RIT Hockey.
The fundraising effort in support of the Gene Polisseni Center is currently more than halfway to its $15 million goal.

Construction is expected to cost between $30 million and $35 million. RIT is developing a business plan for the facility's operation intended to cover the remaining expenses.

Construction of the Gene Polisseni Center is expected to cost $30 million to $35 million, and RIT has developed a business model for the facility's operation that the university expects will cover the remaining expenses. While it will serve primarily as a venue for ice hockey, the arena will become a multi-purpose facility.

Polisseni Center architect announced
May 15, 2012

BBB Architects, a world-renowned architectural firm based in Toronto, has been chosen to manage the design and construction of the Gene Polisseni Center, future home of the NCAA Division I men's and women's hockey programs at Rochester Institute of Technology.

BBB Architects was selected from four firms that were identified as finalists for the project, according to James Watters, RIT senior vice president for finance and administration. BBB's specialties include sports and entertainment venues, serving as architects for the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, General Motors Place in Vancouver, and the current redesign of Madison Square Garden in New York City.

"BBB Architects has an impressive history of creating unique solutions that meet the individual needs of their clients," Watters says. "Their ability to pioneer inspiring design elements for each project allowed the firm to stand apart in the view of our selection committee, and we're eager to see what they have in store for RIT and the Gene Polisseni Center."

RIT is in the midst of Tiger Power Play—The Campaign for RIT Hockey. The fundraising effort is in support of a new arena and is currently more than halfway to its $15 million goal. A $4.5 million partnership between the Polisseni Foundation and RIT trustee B. Thomas Golisano, founder and chairman of Paychex Inc., resulted in the naming of the forthcoming facility as the Gene Polisseni Center.

Construction is expected to cost between $30 million and $35 million. RIT is developing a business plan for the facility's operation intended to cover the remaining expenses.

A location on campus for the Gene Polisseni Center and a timeframe for the start of construction have not yet been finalized.

RIT women's hockey team claims first NCAA Division III Women's Ice Hockey National Championship
March 17, 2012

History was made on Saturday evening, as the RIT women's hockey team (28-1-1) claimed its first NCAA Division III Women's Ice Hockey National Championship, scoring three third period goals to snap a 1-1 tie and defeat defending National Champion Norwich University (27-3-1) 4-1 in front of 1,195 fans at Ritter Arena. It is the third national championship won by any RIT team in the history of the University.

Read the full story here

Additional $1 Million Commitment Grows Momentum for RIT's Campaign to Build Arena
April 7, 2011

Rochester Institute of Technology has tallied additional support for its campaign to build a new ice arena. Trans-Lux Corp., a leading supplier of programmable electronic information displays, and RIT alumnus J.M. Allain have issued a commitment to “Tiger Power Play—The Campaign for RIT Hockey” valued at $1 million.

Read the full story here

Alumni donation of $1 million drops the puck on plans for new ice arena
December 9, 2010

While navigating the demands associated with studies in computer science, Stephen Schultz '89 took advantage of numerous outlets on campus to maximize his college experience. But for the co-founder and chief technical officer at Pictometry International Corp., nothing rivaled his passion for Tigers hockey.

Read the full story here