An Arena Fit for a Friar

Schneider Hockey Arena, Providence College
Providence, Rhode Island

Faced with an aging arena no longer suitable to help in its hockey team’s quest for a first national title, Providence College engaged SMMA to modernize its facility, upgrading it, making it fit for a Friar.

Schneider Arena originally opened in 1973, and 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.

Over the past 40 years, both the men’s and women’s teams have enjoyed success on the ice, but the school had fallen behind its peers with regard to recruiting success and overall amenities, a result of a lack of any significant capital investment in the arena. 

The facility became outdated over time, had no dehumidification or air conditioning, and under certain exterior temperature and humidity conditions, the ice surface could not be maintained. It was also inefficiently laid out, due to the seating structural system, and lacked adequate space for a modern hockey program. 

Integrating the Old With the New

The design responded to the College’s program by developing a three-story addition adjacent to the South side of the existing building, resulting in a contiguous footprint that provides a seamless integration between new and renovated facilities. This allows a two-story linear entry lobby with direct access to the arena and an overlook from the hockey offices, private suites with associated seating, coaches’ offices with balconies and views into the arena, and organization of 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.

— Bob Driscoll, Providence College Athletics Director

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.

Great Amenities Drive Great Results

The College desired to change the exterior and interior image of the facility; add a sports medicine room with therapy pools, strength training, a suite of hockey offices suite, a shooting practice room, a ticket office, an entrance lobby to the arena’s premier suites, and varsity lacrosse space; and improve the overall athlete and spectator experience. It also wanted to replace the rink dasher boards, glass, netting, scoreboard, and the mechanical system.