design thinkers

SLAM Wins 2023 Athletic Business Award for Sacred Heart University’s Martire Family Arena

GLASTONBURY, CT, September 22, 2023—The new Martire Family Arena for ice hockey at Sacred Heart University is a winner in the 2023 Facilities of Merit from Athletic Business. The program recognizes the world’s best new and recently renovated athletics, fitness, and recreation facilities, selected by a third-party jury.

“We’re delighted to receive this recognition from Athletic Business,” says Managing Principal Kevin Herrick, AIA.  “As far hockey arenas go, this new facility boasts the largest installation of dynamic smart glass in the U.S. This is just one of the many features that elevates the fan experience to the highest levels of Division I hockey.”

Perched on a hill atop SHU’s West Campus, which is the adapted former GE world headquarters, the new arena is a multi-story building with subgrade parking and a steeply raked seating bowl for a dramatic game experience, that brings viewers into the action on the ice. A digital ring board, light show, and a center-hung videoboard maintains clear views across the rink. The upper level offers premium seating, suites, and club rooms for events and corporate gatherings.

One of the unique features of the facility is floor-to-ceiling electrochromic glass that wraps the seating bowl. On its clear setting, spectators, coaches, and players have clear views across the nearby Taconic and Berkshire Mountain ranges. To manage glare or add privacy, the glass can turn completely opaque.

The facility is designed to host men’s and women’s NCAA Division I hockey programs, the nationally ranked figure skating team, club ice hockey teams, and local youth programs. For the athletes, NHL and Olympic-quality locker rooms, team lounges, film spaces, meeting rooms, and a puck-shooting room for off-ice training are on hand. State-of-the-art athletic training suites, a pro-motion training harness, world-class strength and conditioning, sports medicine facilities, and hydrotherapy suites serve both athletes and SHU students as practical learning labs.

JLG Associates served as Architect of Record on the project.

See more of SLAM’s sports design.