A New Arena: Enter the Poliseum.
It’s no secret that we love hockey up here in Rochester. With two (count ‘em) two powerhouse hockey teams in our ranks, who wouldn’t?
But the place the team has called home for so long, the place where we continually shoot pucks into enemy nets, is showing it’s age. The Frank Ritter Ice arena is cramped-- far too many games have multiple rows of people pushed up against the railings in the back, unable to see the action. Not to mention the ice isn’t technically tournament approved size, nor do we have separate visiting locker rooms, and we really need to up our “security requirements, media facilities ... visitor parking, [and] guest services,” according to the Power Play website (more on that later).
It’s become clear that the Tigers need a new home. Enter: The Gene Polisseni Center. (Or, as it’s been called colloquially, the Poliseum and/or the Pokécenter.)
Great! A brand new arena! But... where are we going to put it? RIT’s great dilemma comes back to bite us again. Since we’re surrounded by protected natural areas, expanding the campus isn’t exactly easy. At times, it seems the only place to build is up.
Rumors flew all over the campus. Some said that it would be built over the Frank Ritter Ice Arena. That’s... a little far-fetched. The one rumor that seemed to hold water was that it would occupy S-lot (currently a parking lot), right next to Global Village. It was right next to both UC and Global Village apartments, which might make sound a bit of an issue, but we figured we’d deal with it. Finally, on June 7th, an announcement was made. U-Lot it is!
Wait, U? Not S? Great, how is the Corner Crew going to do the best cheer at the start of each game? (In case you haven’t been to an RIT hockey game yet, the announcer will say that for getting to the game, “additional parking is available in parking lot U...” at which point the Corner Crew will shout “SUCK!” in reference to the opposing team. Also, get to a game already! You’re missing out!) Looking back on it, the choice makes a lot (no pun intended) of sense. It gets it out of the way of the apartments, and sticks it right next to all of the current athletic facilities (the turf field, the tennis courts, the gym, the existing ice arena), and leaves S-lot open for parking (which is extremely handy, being close to the Innovation Center, Crossroads, Global Village, etc.), and should make traffic easier to manage, since S-lot would have made a bigger choke point.
All I can say is that I hope they finish construction fast, so I can see a game there before I graduate! It’s sounding fancy already. I mean, just look at the concept renders... just look at them! She’s a beaut. And we’ll be able to see the formal design plan soon enough. It’s going to be a ~35 million dollar arena, and RIT wants to fundraise for $15 million of that. They’re already halfway there, so if you’ve got a couple mil to spare, or even just a dollar, you can help out at the powerplay website.