UPDATE | Environmental Impact Evaluation for Ice Hockey Arena

Extended 60-day Comment Period Ends April 17, 2020

Notice of Environmental Impact Evaluation (EIE)
Ice Hockey Arena Development Project

The University is planning construction of a new ice hockey arena and associated surface parking on approximately 12.5 acres south of Jim Calhoun Way and west of the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum on its main campus in the Storrs section of Mansfield, Connecticut. The site is about half developed today and consists primarily of a surface parking lot (Lot I), storm water conveyance, some wetlands, and rolling, wooded uplands.

In 2014, UConn’s Division 1 Men’s and Women’s ice hockey teams joined the Hockey East conference. Because the current Freitas Ice Forum is too small and does not meet Hockey East standards and requirements to host UConn’s men’s hockey games, UConn has played most of its men’s home hockey games in the XL Center in Hartford since the 2014-2015 season. The Hockey East Association requires teams in the conference to have on-campus facilities with at least 4,000 seats along with other amenities, however UConn has obtained permission from Hockey East to build a venue with lower seating capacity.

The proposed development will include:

  • Facilities adhering to NCAA Division I Ice Hockey requirements, Hockey East Conference standards, and University guidelines and requirements
  • Up to 3,500 seats, with up to 50% seat-back chairs; the balance being bleachers
  • Locker rooms and office space
  • Site improvements and parking for up to 700 vehicles

Construction is currently planned to commence in Fall 2020, with a targeted opening date by Fall 2022.  The new arena will seek LEED certification and will adhere to University design guidelines and performance standards for new construction.

The University has prepared an Environmental Impact Evaluation (EIE) to further evaluate the potential environmental impacts of the Proposed Action, as well as other alternatives, including the No Action alternative.

Click here to view a map of the approximate project location.  Click here to view a conceptual site plan for the proposed Ice Hockey Arena Development Project.

A public meeting was held on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 in accordance with Executive Order 7B on open meetings during the State’s public health and civil preparedness emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A copy of the EIE remains available for download here.  A copy of public meeting presentation remains available for download here.  A recording of the public meeting may be viewed here.

Comments on the EIE will be accepted until 5 pm on Friday, April 17, 2020.

Please send them to:

Name: John Robitaille, Sr. Project Manager
Agency: University Planning, Design & Construction
Address: 31 LeDoyt Road, Unit 3038, Storrs, CT 06269
Email: john.robitaille@uconn.edu
Phone: (860) 486-5930

What happens next: The University will review the comments received and may conduct further environmental study and analysis or amend the evaluation. The University will then prepare responses to the substantive issues raised in review of and comment on the environmental impact evaluation and any supplemental materials or amendments. Those responses and all supplemental materials and comments shall be made available in a “Record of Decision” which will appear in the Environmental Monitor for public inspection.