High Point Solutions Arena at TD Bank Sports Center (map it)
305 Sherman Ave
Hamden, CT 06518
Year Opened: 2007
There are no tickets available at this time.
Official Review by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
The TD BankNorth Center is a multi-use facility consisting of two full-sized playing surfaces for Quinnipiac's winter sports teams. The two venues (a basketball court and hockey rink) share a common lobby and concession area. The facility is located on Quinnipiac's York Hill campus, and is the centerpiece of an expansion project on that campus. Completed in 2007 at a cost of $52 million, it was designed to be a drawing point for potential student athletes.
Building the facility involved moving 615,000 tons of earth and rock, all of which remained on campus to construct roads for the development of the 250-acre York Hill campus, located less than a mile from the school's main Mount Carmel campus.
Hockey began as a varsity sport at Quinnipiac in 1975 as a Division Two squad called the Braves. The team moved up to Division One in 1998 as a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The team, rechristened the Bobcats in 2003, now plays in the ECAC (Eastern College Athletic Conference). The Bobcats have qualified for the NCAA tournament five times, including four straight appearances from 2013-2016, and have advanced to the Frozen Four in both 2013 and 2016, losing in the championship game both times.
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".
There is a concession stand in the lobby of TD Bank Sports Center. It features a limited menu, highlighted by hot dogs, chicken tenders and nachos. A nice selection of snacks are offered here, including French fries, pretzels and popcorn. Assorted candy and ice cream treats are available for purchase for Bobcat fans looking to satisfy a sweet tooth.
Pepsi products are featured here. There is no alcohol sold at this on-campus facility.
While the menu will not overly impress anyone, all the bases are covered for those fans just needing a snack. On the plus side, all items except the chicken tenders are four dollars or less. Fans looking to save a few pennies can purchase their sodas from the vending machine located at the far corner of the arena. Sodas in this machine cost two dollars, as opposed to the $2.25 they cost at the concession stand. Hey, every penny counts!
Quinnipiac offers an all you can eat buffet during their hockey games. These tickets are not available online, and are only available in limited quantities at the box office on game days. For ten dollars, ticket holders can enjoy a light buffet before the game, as well as during intermissions. Access to a cash bar is also included with purchase of a buffet ticket.
Hockey is easily the premier sport at Quinnipiac, and the TD Bank Sport Center is the place to be on Fridays and Saturdays during hockey season. The student section is located at the far end of the arena in sections 108-110. It's packed to the brim for every game. The Quinnipiac pep band is also located here, and fills the arena with noise throughout the game. There is also a cheerleading squad who performs during games.
There is a new four sided video board hanging over center ice, which is used throughout the game for hype videos, replays, advertisements and display of game info. The PA system is kept to a reasonable volume, and as a result can be difficult to hear when the arena gets loud.
So why not a maximum score in this category? While home games are regularly reported to be sellouts, there are often many open seats throughout the arena. And while the student section is packed for every game, these kids are, for the most part, very quiet and well behaved throughout the game. Now, I am not advocating that they emulate the vulgarity that so many student sections spew on a regular basis, but in this small arena, if they were to get loud, it would create one of the great home-ice advantages in the country. Quinnipiac is new to the top of the national rankings, so maybe this student section just needs a little time to refine their craft.
TD Bank Sports Center is located at the university's York Hill campus, about a mile from the main campus. Quinnipiac is located adjacent to Sleeping Giant State Park, a popular destination for hiking and other outdoor activities. If visiting Hamden during the fall, the many trails here are worth a look before heading over to the game.
Hamden is a typical suburban community, with many local eateries and national chain restaurants located along Whitney Ave. near campus. If you follow Whitney Ave. for a few miles, you will find yourself in downtown New Haven on the campus of Quinnipiac's chief hockey rival, Yale University.
While Hamden is a lovely community, it can hardly be considered a destination location. Many visitors to the area will spend their time in nearby New Haven, which has a well-deserved reputation as a foodie hotspot.
Quinnipiac hockey is the hottest ticket in town, and tickets can be tough to come by. If planning to visit Hamden for a game, it is a good idea to purchase your tickets well in advance. Announced attendance often exceeds the building's stated capacity, as there is abundant standing room at the TD Bank Sports Center.
Crowds at Quinnipiac hockey games are an interesting mix of die-hard fans, students and families. The arena's small size creates an intimate setting where fans are right on top of the action and can make enough noise to affect the play on the ice.
The suburb of Hamden is located directly to the north of New Haven. Recently named as one of the "best small cities" by CNN Money, Hamden and Quinnipiac University are easily reached via Interstate 91. Take exit 10 (Route 40) if traveling either northbound or southbound, and follow it approximately a mile and a half to the QU campus on Mount Carmel Road.
Fans enter the TD Bank Sports Center into the shared central lobby, which contains the Bobcat Den concession stand and a pair of restrooms. The hockey rink is on your right.
Fans enter the High Point Solutions Arena onto the concourse located at the top of the seating bowl. This concourse completely encircles the arena, offering views of the ice from all points. In fact, many fans choose to take in the action from spots around the concourse. Section 101 will be located directly in front of you as you enter the rink. Fans wanting to sit at center ice with the logo facing them should purchase seats in section 104.
The seating bowl consists entirely of blue folding stadium seats. There are 18 sections, each containing 11 rows of seats. The seating bowl is steeply pitched, creating great sightlines of the game from all points. A section of luxury boxes for groups is located above the entrance to the arena.
The concourse makes navigating the arena easy, but it can get crowded during intermissions. There are restrooms (two for women, one for men) located in the corners of the arena. They are small, and lines do form during intermission.
With only one road leading to the arena, don't be in a rush to leave after the game. The lots can take a little while to empty.
Quinnipiac utilizes variable pricing for their hockey games. For most games, tickets cost $18, with standing room along the top of the seating bowl costing $12. Seniors can purchase tickets for eight dollars, and children for seven dollars.
Certain games are designated as premium games (the annual matchup with cross-town rival Yale is always included in this grouping). Prices for premium games cost $25, with standing room $15 and seniors and youth going for $10.
Parking in the lots surrounding the facility is free, and concessions are very reasonable. A night at a Quinnipiac hockey game is a very affordable option for southern Connecticut sports fans.
An extra point is awarded for the Quinnipiac cheerleading squad. It's unusual to see cheerleaders at a hockey game in the first place, but add in that the ladies take place in the pregame festivities on the ice, in skates, and you really have something unique in college hockey.
Among the many banners that hang in the rink is a banner that reads "Mr. Hockey" with Gordie Howe's familiar number nine. What is Gordie's connection to Quinnipiac hockey? He was the honorary chairman of the TD Bank Sports Center campaign, and was instrumental in getting the facility built.
Outside the entrance to facility is a statue of a Bobcat, the school's mascot. When the school made the decision to change their name from the politically incorrect Braves to the Bobcats, students developed the legend of the Bobcat, which guards the Quinnipiac campus while the sleeping giant does his thing over at the state park. The legend can be read on a plaque next to the statue.
This formerly sleepy little campus has found itself home to one of the top college hockey teams in the country. Two Frozen Four appearances in the last four years seem to be only the beginning for this program. In the TD Bank Sports Center, the Bobcats have a facility worthy of one of the nation's top ranked teams. It's a venue that any serious college hockey fan should put on their bucket list.
Follow Paul Baker's stadium journeys on Twitter @PuckmanRI.
Member Review by Joe Addonizio on Feb 22, 2013
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.
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