Quinnipiac University is going ahead with a $25 million basketball and hockey facility, according to the Hamden (Ct.) Chronicle. The zoning for the project was approved this month by the planning and zoning commission of Hamden. Among the conditions for approval, the school must ensure it will enhance the proposal for the road system around the facility.
The facility, to be built on 240 acres, would consist of a 100,000 square-foot building, holding a 3,000-seat basketball arena and 2,500-seat ice hockey arena. Currently, Quinnipiac’s men’s and women’s hockey teams play at a town facility, the Northford Ice Pavilion.
According to the Chronicle, the arenas would be divided by a common concourse with concession stands. Quoting the school’s director of facilities, Joseph Rubertone, the newspaper said the school will begin work on the project in July or August, for a late 2006 completion.
“The facility is designed for who we are and what we are,” said QU athletic director Jack McDonald to the Chronicle. “We hope to have a stadium that is filled and generate a good home crowd. We want to be as competitive as possible.”
The improved facility is part of Quinnipiac’s long-range plan to upgrade the profile of its hockey program. McDonald has long expressed a desire to increase the number of scholarships offered by the program to the full 18 allowed by the NCAA; it is currently limited to the 11 allowed by its conference, Atlantic Hockey.
Quinnipiac is also considered to have its hat in the ring for the current ECAC vacancy. Having a new on-campus facility would enhance its attractiveness to the ECAC.
According to the newspaper, McDonald said he hopes the facility will also attract outside sporting events such as high school championship games.