Maine Athletics announces renovation plans for Alfond Sports Arena and Walsh Hockey Center

The University of Maine and Maine Athletics have released plans for major renovations to Harold Alfond Sports Arena and the Shawn Walsh Hockey Center. The project is made possible by a transformational $320 million commitment from the Harold Alfond Foundation to the University of Maine System, which includes a $170 million investment in UMaine Athletics to fund the Athletics Facilities Master Plan as part of UMS TRANSFORMS.

“With the support of the Harold Alfond Foundation, UMaine will continue to build on and expand our athletic facilities and the growing success of our hockey programs,” said Joan Ferrini-Mundy, president of the University of Maine and the University of Maine at Machias. “We are grateful for the exciting opportunities these renovations will bring to not only our student-athletes but our university, local communities and state.”

 The men’s and women’s ice hockey teams will receive new locker rooms equipped with modern lighting and the latest technology to create one of the premier home locker room spaces in Hockey East. The programs will also benefit from a new film room equipped with seating for 42 individuals. Upgrades also will include improved branding and structure of the tunnel leading to the arena. 

 “Thanks in large part to the Harold Alfond Foundation, we are thrilled to showcase the details of the Alfond Arena and Shawn Walsh Hockey Center renovations,” said Jude Killy, director of athletics. “These enhancements to an already iconic venue will provide our student-athletes with a first-class, modern experience. The updated facilities will provide championship-caliber resources for our men’s and women’s ice hockey programs as they prepare to compete in front of the best fans in Hockey East. These improvements will continue our efforts towards being the premier destination for college hockey.”

 Connecting the two hockey facilities will be a new concourse entrance, featuring a modern origami building design to compliment the highly recognizable Alfond Arena profile. The spacious concourse will include renovated points of sale for tickets and concessions, as well as a new area for the Bear Necessities team store. A new Hockey Hall of Fame will celebrate and preserve the history of Maine Hockey. 

 “This renovation ensures our student-athletes will have the best game day experience in college hockey and a world-class training facility in line with the best facilities in the nation,” said Ben Barr, head men’s ice hockey coach. “The best fans in college hockey will have an enhanced experience before and during the game, which will only add to the electric atmosphere inside the Alfond.”

 Upon entering the facility, individuals will be welcomed to an area celebrating Maine’s only Division I program, with displays of athletics history and accomplishments. New and renovated offices for the men’s and women’s head coaches, assistant coaches and support staff will help create a new home for the hockey programs equipped with modern technology to train and care for student-athletes. 

 The Shawn Walsh Hockey Center will be upgraded with state-of-the-art sports medicine and strength and conditioning spaces. New hydrotherapy cold and hot tubs as well as larger and more efficient areas for treatment and injury prevention will improve these areas. A newly designed space with upgraded training equipment and new nutrition areas will also be included in the renovations.

 “The renovations to the arena are going to continue to draw great hockey players to Maine,” said Molly Engstrom, head women’s ice hockey coach. “This project will undoubtedly elevate the daily experience for our student-athletes and will elevate the game day experience for fans as we work to make Maine Hockey one of the best programs in the nation.”

 The Dexter Lounge will be revamped as one of the signature components of the building. Upgrades to the lounge will allow student-athletes, staff, donors and fans to enjoy events, meetings and gatherings to celebrate Maine Athletics. The renovated area also will feature improved branding to celebrate the history of Maine Hockey as well as recognition opportunities for donors and an improved entrance for premium seat holders.

 The upgrades to Alfond Arena and the Shawn Walsh Hockey Center will further UMaine’s commitment to excellence in the state’s only Division I athletics program, strengthen gender equity and provide a preferred destination for high school sports championships, competitions and community events.

 “We are very grateful for the decades of support provided by the Harold Alfond Foundation,” said Jeffery Mills, University of Maine Foundation president. “Their very generous philanthropic efforts have made a significant impact on the University of Maine.”

 WBRC Inc. (Bangor, Maine), and Crawford Architects (Kansas City, Missouri) will serve as the architects for the project. Construction management will be executed by PC Construction (Portland, Maine), with work beginning in the spring of 2024. Forty Nine Degrees (Coldwater, Ohio) will lead the internal branding efforts. 

Contact: Tyson McHatten,