QU Sports Center Best in NE

Published on March 29th, 2012

Bob Ryan, the veteran Boston Globe sports columnist, spent the winter touring all 21 Division I basketball arenas in New England, critiquing them and ranking his Top Ten. He had been to many of them before, of course, but he was surprised with the one he liked best. Despite including the likes of Gampel Pavilion, this contest was a blowout.

“We have a clear winner,” he wrote. “It sits on a hill in Hamden, Connecticut. I have saved the best for last, although I can't say I planned it that way. But when you tell people you're going all over New England to see college basketball games, the first thing they say is, "Have you been to Quinnipiac [TD Bank Sports Center]?”

Designed by a team from Centerbrook Architects led by partner Jefferson B. Riley, FAIA, the 180,000-square-foot facility opened in 2007 and helped the men’s and woman’s hockey teams earn an invitation to join the prestigious Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Ryan continued: “The fact of the matter is Quinnipiac got it right. Athletic Director Jack McDonald, a BC guy from Braintree and former Eagles track coach, was the lucky AD who got to plan this building, which houses matching venues for hockey and basketball. After entering the structure, you turn right for hockey and left for basketball. On either side you'll find theater seats [3,286 seats for hockey 3,570 for basketball], perfectly pitched in an oval to enjoy the action. And you ought to see the locker rooms, meeting facilities and other stuff, for both men and women. There’s none better in New England.”

Jon Lavy, AIA, and Jay Klebeck, AIA, were Project Manager and Assistant Project Manager respectively for the TD Bank Sports Center.