STORRS, CT- While the UConn men’s and women’s ice hockey teams will christen the brand new Toscano Family Ice Forum with a doubleheader on Saturday, Jan. 14, the XL Center will remain a home away from home for the Huskies next season.
Construction of the $70 million arena began in May 2021 and is expected to wrap up in early January 2023. The teams will move into the new facility in time to host their final five home games of the season there.
The women’s team hosted their games this season at the current on-campus hockey arena, the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum, playing their final game at the rink on Nov. 18. The Freitas Ice Forum was constructed in 1998 and is expected to be repurposed next year.
UConn men’s ice hockey spent their season at the XL Center in Hartford and will host Long Island University for their final game there on Saturday, Dec. 31.
UConn women’s ice hockey will be the first to play at the Toscano Family Ice Forum, hosting Merrimack on Jan. 13 for a soft launch of the arena. The doubleheader grand opening will occur the following day, with the women’s team hosting Vermont at 2 p.m. and the men’s team hosting Northeastern at 7:05 p.m.
The new arena can seat 2,600 fans, 600 more than the Freitas Ice Forum. The rink will also have a student section — standing room only — to accommodate additional fans.
“Having a new on-campus ice hockey arena will enable our student-athletes to have a state-of-the-art building with all of the critical resources at their fingertips,” said Deputy Director of Athletics Annie Fiorvanti.
The new facility has an athlete lounge, strength and conditioning rooms, recovery rooms, offices for athletic staff, spacious locker rooms and study rooms for players.
The construction of a new ice hockey arena was not only an investment in current athletes, but future Huskies as well. “The arena will add a new dimension in our ability to attract some of the best prospective student-athletes to compete on our ice hockey teams,” said Fiorvanti.
The Toscano Family Ice Forum is also a big upgrade for fans. Spectators will be able to take advantage of different lounge levels and dining areas. In addition, Storrs residents have a much shorter commute to the rink when games are played on-campus.
“The on-campus element will allow for increased engagement from our student body and local community, and we are very excited about the game day atmosphere that will be created in the Toscano Family Ice Forum,” said Fiorvanti.
Despite the amenities the new arena offers, UConn inked a new deal with the XL Center for the 2023-2024 season. No comment was made by UConn Athletics on why the deal was made.
While the 2023-2024 schedule is not final, “the intent will be for the men’s ice hockey team to play games at both the XL Center and the Toscano Family Ice Forum next season,” said Fiorvanti.
The new XL Center deal does not include the UConn women’s ice hockey team, who will play all of their 2023-2024 season games at the Toscano Family Ice Forum.
UConn men’s hockey tickets for XL Center games currently range from $10 to $18. Ticket prices for the new on-campus rink will range from $25 to $30. Student tickets will remain free through the claim process.
Season ticket holders will be eligible to select their 2023-2024 season seats for the Toscano Family Ice Forum in spring 2023.