2. Notice of Scoping for University of Connecticut Ice Hockey Arena Development 

Municipality where proposed project might be located: Mansfield

Address of Possible Project Location: 16-acres south of Jim Calhoun Way and southwest of the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum located at 509 Jim Calhoun Way on the University of Connecticut Storrs Campus.

Project Description: The University of Connecticut (UConn) is planning development of a new ice hockey arena and surface parking on approximately 16 acres along Jim Calhoun Way on its main campus in Storrs. The site is about half developed today and consists primarily of a parking lot (Lot I), an isolated wetland, wet weather stormwater conveyance, and rolling, wooded uplands. Immediately east of and adjacent to Lot I is the existing Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum, a 1,650-seat ice hockey arena built in 1998 that UConn currently owns and operates.

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 had to play almost all its home men’s hockey games in the XL Center in Hartford for the last four years.  The Hockey East Association requires teams in the conference to have facilities with at least 4,000 seats along with other amenities. UConn has obtained permission from Hockey East to build a smaller venue with 2,500 seats so long as the arena’s design allows for potential expansion to 3,500 seats in the future.

The new arena will host some men’s hockey games, all women’s hockey games and will also support UConn’s robust recreational ice hockey program.  Additionally, the new arena could by utilized by the University or to support community needs.  At a minimum, the new arena will have the following features:

  • Up to 3,500 seats, with at least 25% of the seats being seat-back chairs; the balance can be bleachers.
  • Arena facilities and ice that will meet all NCAA Division I Ice Hockey requirements, all Hockey East Conference standards, and all University guidelines and requirements.
  • A permanent locker room for both the UConn men’s and women’s ice hockey team, a Division 1 ice hockey team visitor’s locker room, two (2) other mid-sized locker rooms, and a small official’s locker room.
  • Five (5) offices dedicated for UConn’s use.
  • A scoreboard with video replay capability.
  • Parking for up to 700 vehicles.

To satisfy parking requirements, the existing surface lot will approximately double in size. The new capacity of Lot I, however, will not accommodate sellout events at the arena. During those events, UConn will rely on its other parking facilities and shuttle operations.

UConn is currently negotiating an agreement with a private developer who will design, construct, own and operate the new arena on UConn’s property. As currently contemplated, UConn will be in charge of maintaining the arena, while the developer would operate and manage it.  The targeted opening of the new arena is during the fall semester of 2021 and it will adhere to University design guidelines and performance standards for new construction.

Project Maps:  Click here to view a map of the project area.  Click here to view a preliminary concept plan of the proposed project.

Written comments from the public are welcomed and will be accepted until the close of business on:  5pm, Friday, June 21, 2019

There will be a Public Scoping Meeting for this project at:

DATETuesday, June 11, 2019

TIME: 6:30 pm (Doors will be open at 6:00 pm)

PLACE: Konover Auditorium in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, 405 Babbidge Road, Storrs, CT

NOTES: Public parking in the South Garage, 2366 Jim Calhoun Way, Storrs, CT, adjacent to the UConn Bookstore on Hillside Road.

To watch the scoping meeting live online, please visithttp://www.kaltura.com/tiny/uyrei.

Written comments and/or requests for a Public Scoping Meeting should be sent to:

Name: John Robitaille, Sr. Project Manager
Agency: UConn | University Planning, Design and Construction
Address:   31 LeDoyt Road, Unit 3038, Storrs, CT 06269-3038
(860) 486-3117

If you have questions about the public meeting, or other questions about the scoping for this project, contact:

Name: John Robitaille, Sr. Project Manager
Agency: UConn | University Planning, Design and Construction
Address:   31 LeDoyt Road, Unit 3038, Storrs, CT 06269-3038
Phone: (860) 486-5930
Fax: (860) 486-3117
E-Mail: john.robitaille@uconn.edu 

Inquiries and requests to view and or copy documents, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, must be submitted to the sponsoring State Agency:


Public Records Administration


c/o University Communications


34 North Eagleville Road, U-3144




(860) 486-5337

The agency expects to release an Environmental Impact Evaluation for this project, for public review and comment, date TBD.