Writers, U.S. News Praise QU

CENTERBROOK, Conn. – Veteran college hockey writer Joe Connor made a pilgrimage this year to 13 ice arenas throughout the Northeast, including the Centerbrook-designed TD Bank Sports Center at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. He picked favorites in a column that recently was published on the website of US College Hockey Online (USCHO).

In related news, U.S. News & World Report, in its 2014 edition of “Best Colleges,” named Quinnipiac for the second straight year as the “top up-and-coming” American university in the North Region. The publication selects institutions that have made the most promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, student life, and campus facilities – such as the Sports Center and the new $100 million Center for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences on the university's North Haven Campus. Centerbrook, led by Partner Jefferson B. Riley, FAIA, has been the Quinnipiac campus architect since 1978.

Joe Connor ranked Quinnipiac’s 3,286-seat hockey arena second overall of the 13 facilities he evaluated, ahead of venues for rivals such as Boston University, Dartmouth College, and Brown University. Connor described the QU rink, which opened in 2007, as “Awesome.” He added, “The student section was pretty wild, too, to say nothing of the team. I caught the Bobcats capturing yet another ECAC Hockey victory.” This coming season, the arena will serve as the host venue for the NCAA Women's Ice Hockey Division I National Championship.

Quinnipiac men’s hockey team was ranked number one in the nation for much of last season, and its home games were often televised regionally and nationally. The Sports Center also houses a twin arena for Quinnipiac’s Division I men’s and women’s basketball teams, and this half of the building also drew praise recently from veteran ESPN sports columnist Bob Ryan. Ryan ranked the 3,570-seat basketball arena as the best in all of New England, ahead of Gampel Pavilion and 20 others.

Joe Connor also praised Quinnipiac’s campus, calling it “impressive.” Centerbrook designed the university’s recently opened York Hill Campus, which, besides the Sports Center, includes residence halls, a student center, and a wind terrace with 25 vertical-axis turbines that power site lighting.

The twin sports arenas sweep out from each other on two sides of an entry courtyard. Large glass walls at the ends of each arena face the courtyard and offer a preview of the excitement inside. A central entrance lobby on the concourse level accesses both arenas. Above this the mezzanine accommodates the University Club, where a lounge with dining and VIP seats overlooks each arena. An outdoor deck captures the view south to New Haven.