High Point Solutions Arena at TD Bank Sports Center (map it)
305 Sherman Ave
Hamden, CT 06511
Year Opened: 2007
There are no tickets available at this time.
Official Review by Joe Addonizio, Stadium Journey Guest Correspondent
The TD Bank Sports Center hosts the basketball and hockey programs of Quinnipiac University. It is one of just four twin facilities in the Northeast housing collegiate basketball and hockey teams. The men’s basketball team currently plays in the Northeast Conference (NEC) but will move to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) for the 2013-2014 academic year. The ice hockey teams play in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
As you approach the TD Bank Sports Center, you first walk towards the doors and are greeted by a giant bronze Bobcat. You then enter the lobby of the arena and to your left is the basketball court and to the right is the ice hockey rink. But straight ahead is the concessions stand, which serves food supplied by Chartwells, the University's food service provider.
The food at the TD Bank Sports Center isn't anything special but is enough to fill you up during an intermission. The food ranges from hot dogs ($3.50), chicken tenders ($5.50), nachos and cheese ($3), French fries ($3), hot popcorn ($3), hot jumbo pretzels ($3), assorted candy ($1/$3), assorted chips ($2), ice cream novelties ($3), and Big Iggy Ice Cream sandwich ($4). You can also get soda ($2), Gatorade ($3), coffee ($2), cappuccino ($2), hot chocolate ($2) and bottled water ($2). Like the majority of college arenas, Quinnipiac does not allow beer to be sold at the TD Bank Sports Center.
When the High Point Solutions Center sells out it becomes an intimate atmosphere. The arena then allows fans to purchase standing room only tickets that encase the rink and bring the fans closer to the action on the ice.
The university student pep band provides exciting music ranging from "We Will Rock You," to "Brass Bonanza" (the Hartford Whalers old song) to renditions of popular hit songs like Katy Perry's "Hot N Cold" and even the "Imperial March" from Star Wars that the referees skate out to before each period.
The arena seats 3,386 fans but can hold close to 4,000 with standing room included. One thousand of the seats are in the student section and there are also approximately 70 seats in the University Club level seating. The University Club is located above general admission seats and overlooks the visiting team goal. The club gives a sophisticated option to fans and is a great option for business settings. The club is open 90 minutes before the game and 60 minutes after and requires a reservation. It also has an open buffet as well as a bar.
The surrounding area of the TD Bank Sports Center provides a safe and comfortable feeling. The stadium itself sits atop a half-mile high climb on top of York Hill. Here, visitors are provided with an amazing view of New Haven and the Long Island Sound and it produces hundreds of beautiful pictures no matter what the season. The Rocky Top Student Center is also a beautiful building resembling a ski lodge.
At the bottom of York Hill is Whitney Avenue which features several university-owned businesses as well as local businesses such as Ray and Mike's Deli and Aunt Chilada's. The deli features signature sandwiches ranging from Buffalo Chicken, The Cluckin' Russian (chicken cutlet w/muenster, bacon, & Russian dressing), The Irresistible (steak & cheese w/buff chic filet) and The QuickWich (steak & cheese, mac and cheese, cheddar) (named after Hamden, CT native Jonathon Quick - the Los Angeles King goaltender).
The deli also has breakfast sandwiches as well as cold sandwiches with Boar's Head meat. Ray and Mike's Deli was also named the 2011 New Haven Advocate Best Sub Division and 2012 Best Hamden Deli on Patch.com Voters Poll.
Aunt Chilada' is a Mexican restaurant and bar just four minutes away from the hockey rink. The menu features a wide variety of Mexican-American dishes from appetizers, salads, fajitas, quesadillas as well as sandwiches.
Stop in after the game for some tequila or choose from one of 12 margaritas that are served by "Aunchies."
Aunchies also has a wide variety of beers on tap from Miller Lite, Shock Top, Two Roads IPA, City Steams Naughty Nurse, Long Trail Doublebag, Cabin Fever, Three BS Porter, and Sam Adams.
A few miles further down Whitney Ave is Dixwell Avenue which is a more built up area with several fast food chains as well as other restaurant chains like Chile's, T.G.I.F., and IHOP.
Hamden is just 15-minutes away from New Haven, and there are also several other great food and drink locations there including Pepe's world famous pizza and Toad's Place which is a very small concert venue that has hosted hundreds of famous artists.
Perhaps the most scenic part of Hamden and Quinnipiac is Sleeping Giant State Park, home of the Sleeping Giant Mountain. The mountain got its name from the resemblance of a giant lying down sleeping with the different mountain peaks. It also provides a scenic backdrop for the Mount Carmel Campus, the main campus of Quinnipiac and attracts hundreds of visitors each week, especially on weekends.
In the past, when the team hasn't been nationally ranked, the TD Bank Sports Center has a different, calmer feeling. Hardcore fans and dedicated students are the only ones you can hear and you can tell it affects Quinnipiac's play.
When the team is hot like during the 2012-2013 season the fans come with a booming amount of energy and fill the stadium with blue and gold. This season in particular with the men's teams' first appearance at the top of the polls, the energy has been electric. The team has sold-out nearly every game and because of it, athletics has increased the fan experience.
The school has begun to provide ThunderStix to fans, added more intermission activities such as trivia and they even give out free pizza to the games 'lucky row of the game.' Students also lead several chants and the Quinnipiac Ice Cats skate on the ice before the game, dance at the top of the stands during the game and also throw out Quinnipiac T-shirts.
Hamden is rather easy to get too especially off of I-91 and Rt. 15 (Merritt Parkway) and is only a 15-minute drive from New Haven. The only annoying route is if you take I-84 as the closest exit is approximately 20 minutes from the arena and can generate lots of traffic during certain times of the day.
Parking is extremely easy. There is no charge to park and if you get there early enough, you can park in the lot in front of the stadium. If not, you will park in the parking garage, which is about a 5-8 minute walk from the stadium. It's recommended to get to the game by 6:30 p.m. if it's sold out as the traffic can get extremely backed up going up the hill if you don't get there early.
Bathrooms are extremely easy to access. The arena in whole has eight bathrooms (5 women, 3 men). There is a bathroom for guys and one for girls in the lobby and then two for girls in the ice hockey section and one for guys in that section as well. The ones located in the ice hockey area can be found at the corners of the stadium.
The atmosphere at Quinnipiac University is like no other facility in Division I sports. Many people praise the facility for its uniqueness and state of the art characteristics. In 2012, former Boston Globe writer Bob Ryan said, "It has got a very good reputation and frankly it's the best facility I've seen in New England." The facility is beautiful and sits on top of York Hill providing an amazing view of New Haven and putting Quinnipiac at the top of Connecticut sports.
For men's ice hockey games, non-premium games are $15 for premium adults, $13 for regular season and $5 for youth/seniors. For premium games, tickets are $16 for premium adults, $14 for regular adults and $5 for youth/seniors. Women's ice hockey tickets are an even better rate of $4 for adults and only $2 for youth/seniors.
To see a highly respected program for this price is a bargain as the men's team hasn't had a losing season since 1995-1996. The women's team as well has put together three straight winning seasons under fourth year head coach Rick Seeley who has quickly turned the program around.
Quinnipiac ice hockey is one of the only programs in the country that provide ice skating cheerleaders with the Ice Cats. Their captain skates to center ice during introductions and does several figure skating moves that get the crowd pumped up. They also dance at the top of the arena and throw T-shirts out to fans.
The setting of the TD Bank Sports Center at the York Hill campus is unmatched in college sports. The arena aims to put Quinnipiac at the top of Connecticut sports and allows them to look down on Whitney Ave. rival Yale University in New Haven.
With the hockey rink attached to the basketball court, fans are brought into the ultimate winter sports experience. Several times through the year, Quinnipiac has doubleheaders with a basketball game as well as hockey and sometimes has up to three or even four teams competing in one day allowing Bobcat fans the ultimate experience.
Quinnipiac has been selected for the women's ice hockey frozen four for 2014 due to the exciting environment and extraordinary facility. There is no facility like the TD Bank Sports Center in the country.
**Lead photo courtesy of Matt Eisenberg.
There are no crowd reviews yet. Be the first and help us build with your expertise!
3030 Whitney Ave
Hamden, CT 06518
There are no local lodging entries. Help us build with your expertise!