RIT’s hockey program found more leverage from using shovels than sticks in launching the 2012–2013 season. Members of the campus community gathered this fall to celebrate the formal groundbreaking of the Gene Polisseni Center during Brick City Homecoming & Family Weekend.
During the ceremony, officials unveiled the official design of the new hockey arena, which 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.
“The popularity of our hockey teams has grown so much that we can't handle ticket demand from our fans,” says 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.”
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 redesign of Madison Square Garden in New York City. LeChase Construction Services, based in Rochester, has been selected to build the facility.
The Gene Polisseni Center site is directly south of the Student Alumni Union, adjacent to the existing turf athletic 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 include Clark Gymnasium, Frank Ritter Arena, Gordon Field House and Activities Center and RIT stadium.
The new arena is expected to open in fall 2014.
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 facility’s operation intended to cover the remaining expenses.
For more information on the Tiger Power Play campaign, go to www.rit.edu/powerplay.