An Arena Fit for a Friar

Schneider Hockey Arena, Providence College
Providence, Rhode Island

As part of an ongoing commitment to their Division I varsity athletics, Providence College engaged SMMA to design the expansion and renovation of their existing hockey arena. Originally opened in 1973, Schneider Arena was named in memory of the late Reverend Herman D. Schneider, founder of the Friars' hockey program and a long-time member of the school's faculty. Though the men’s and women’s teams enjoyed success over the years, Providence College had fallen behind its peers regarding recruitment efforts and overall amenities.

The outdated facility lacked necessary HVAC systems, such as dehumidification and air conditioning, and was ill-prepared to maintain ice surface temperatures. The layout proved inefficient due to its small building footprint and an antiquated seating structural system. The new 30,000 sf design modernizes and upgrades the facility while also incorporating 3,000 spectators. It currently houses The Friar men’s and women’s team space for hockey and lacrosse, a dedicated strength and conditioning center, and an athletic training suite. Athletics and hockey administration overlook a new lobby, concession space, and ticketing. Other updates include new finishes, lighting and acoustics, expanded press facilities, and premium box seating.

Integrating the Old With the New

The design responds to the rest of Providence College’s programming through a three-story addition. The addition is adjacent to the South side of the existing building, resulting in a contiguous footprint that provides a seamless integration between new and renovated facilities. Striated brick and cast stone masonry mark the entrances to the metal panel-clad structure. Support facilities are embedded into the landscape, leaving the public access spaces above grade. The new addition allows for a two-story linear entry lobby with direct access to the arena. An overlook from the hockey offices, private suites with associated seating, and coach offices provides views into the interior. Additionally, it organizes dedicated team and shared support spaces.

"When you walk into a brand new and fully updated facility, it makes a strong statement about our commitment to helping our players become the best student-athletes they can be."

Robert Driscoll

Providence College, Vice President/Athletics Director

Great Amenities Drive Great Results

The college desired to completely transform the exterior and interior image of the facility through new and improved amenity spaces. Thus, they opted for adding a sports medicine room with therapy pools, strength training, a hockey office space suite, a shooting practice room, a ticket office, an entrance lobby for the arena’s premier suites, and a varsity lacrosse space. To further improve the overall athlete and spectator experience, they also replaced the rink dasher boards, glass, betting, scoreboard, and the mechanical system.



National Champions

2015 NCAA Division 1 Men's Hockey

After an eight-month construction period, Schneider Arena reopened to the public in the fall of 2013, welcoming spectators into a modern facility that celebrates the history and looks to the future of Providence College Hockey. The following year, as though scripted by a team of Hollywood screenwriters, PC's men’s hockey team won its first national championship. NHL Calgary Flames prospect Jon Gillies turned away 49 of Boston University's 52 shots in the win, taking home Frozen Four MVP honors.