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Matthews Arena

Boston, MA

Home of the Northeastern Huskies



Matthews Arena (map it)
238 St. Botolph St
Boston, MA 02115

Northeastern Huskies website

Matthews Arena website

Year Opened: 1910

Capacity: 4,666

There are no tickets available at this time.


Local Information


You're in the Doghouse

The city of Boston has a rich sports history, and its venues are some of the most revered in the nation-Fenway Park, Boston Garden, Harvard Stadium. But there is an arena that pre-dates all of them that is still in use today-Matthews Arena on the Northeastern campus.

Originally named Boston Arena, this facility was the original home of both the Boston Bruins in 1924 and the New England Whalers in 1972, as well as the occasional home of the Boston Celtics in the 1940s and 1950s. Virtually every college hockey team in the area, including all four Beanpot schools, have called this arena home. In fact, Matthews Arena is the oldest indoor hockey rink still in use today.

Muhammad Ali trained here, and many of boxing’s biggest names, such as Gene Tunney, Joe Louis, Marvin Hagler and Jack Dempsey fought here. The Frozen Four was held at Matthews Arena in 1960, as was the original Beanpot hockey tournament. More recently, the World Junior Hockey Championships were held here in 1995.

Matthews Arena has always been more than just a sporting venue. Every president from Theodore Roosevelt to John Kennedy visited the site, as have Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. Charles Lindberg and Amelia Earhart hosted events here. Concerts by artists as diverse as The Doors, Jerry Lee Lewis, Marvin Gaye, Ludacris, Bob Dylan, The Roots, Chuck Berry and Phish were held at Matthews Arena.

Today, Matthews Arena serves as home to Northeastern's men’s and women’s hockey teams, as well as the men’s basketball team and the Wentworth Institute of Technology hockey team. Various area high-school teams also call Matthews Arena home.

The Northeastern men’s hockey team is the least decorated of the four “Beanpot” schools that compete in NCAA Division One hockey. Northeastern has won the prestigious Boston hockey tournament only four times, least among the four participating schools. The team has qualified for the NCAA tournament four times (1982, 1988, 1994, 2009), and has made one Frozen Four, in 1982. Seventeen former Huskies have played in the National Hockey League.


What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    2

There are a pair of concession stands in the lobby that serve a limited menu. Hungry Husky fans can choose from hot dogs, veggie burgers, chicken fingers, and grilled chicken sandwiches. Sides such as French fries, nachos, pretzels and popcorn are also available. Coca Cola products are featured at Matthews Arena. Alcohol is not available at this on-campus facility.

While the menu at Matthews Arena won't wow anyone, the prices are quite affordable, and the quality of food served is decent.

Atmosphere    4

The atmosphere at Matthews Arena begins and ends with the "Dog House", the student section located in the balcony sections 43-47. Students in these sections hang right over the visiting goalie during the first and third periods, doing their best to distract and intimidate the opposition. Northeastern students are here to have a great time as well as to be heard. One of the highlights of every game occurs late in the third period, when several students run a lap around the upper walkways of the balcony to the Benny Hill theme song.

The Northeastern pep band is present at Husky Hockey games, doing a good job keeping the arena busy during play stoppages. Other hockey staples can be found at Matthews Arena, such as 50/50 raffles and chuck-a-puck.

Neighborhood    5

Northeastern University is located near Boston's Back Bay neighborhood, one of the city's most popular tourist destinations. The Fens neighborhood and South End are also within a short walking distance of the University. Many of Boston's major attractions are located just a short distance from Matthews Arena.

Fans looking for a place to eat before or after the game will have no trouble finding a place within a short walk of Matthews Arena. Uno Pizzeria is a popular gathering spot, and several other chains have set up shop along Huntington Avenue, including Panera Bread, Wings Over Boston and Five Guys Burgers. Boston House of Pizza is a favorite of the student body. Visiting fans looking for something a little different can choose from Pho and I, Symphony Sushi, Boston Shawarma and Temptations Café.

Fans visiting from out of town will want to check out the Prudential Center and Copley Place, located just a few blocks from Matthews Arena. Symphony Hall is just around the corner from the venue, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts is a short walk away. While walking around Boston during the cold winter months may not be recommended, most of Boston's attractions are easily accessed by a short subway ride.

Fans    4

The Huskies average over 2,600 fans per game for hockey at Matthews Arena. Hockey is by far the most popular sport at the school, and the student section is filled to the brim on many nights. The size of the crowd on any given night depends greatly on the opponent, as Northeastern's membership in the Hockey East Conference guarantees that several local opponents will visit Matthews Arena annually.

Access    4

Even on the best of days, Boston can be a difficult city to navigate, especially by car. Matthews Arena is located on the eastern edge of Northeastern's urban campus, less than a block from the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Huntington Avenue. Despite the fact that Matthews Arena is easy to find, that doesn't make it easy to get to. The ever-present Boston traffic, couple with construction projects in the area and streets that date back to colonial days, laid out in seemingly random directions, make Boston a tough city to drive in. If you must drive, it is best to bring a local along who is familiar with the city landscape. Directions to Matthews Arena can be found here.

Many local fans will choose to take public transportation to Matthews Arena. The MBTA, known locally as the "T", drops fans off just a couple of blocks from the arena. The E-train of the Green line drops fans off at Symphony Hall, and the Orange Line has a stop on Massachusetts Avenue. At just $2.75 for a fare, the T is an affordable alternative for visiting Husky fans.

Fans visiting Matthews Arena will pass under an ornate entry arch into the main lobby. The ticket office, concession stands, and restrooms are all located here. The playing surface will be located to your right, accessible by a pair of walkways. Seats at Matthews Arena are separated into loge and balcony sections. All seats have excellent views of the action, although some lower level seats will have an obstructed view of the scoreboard and banners due to the overhang of the balcony.

Fans will have no problem navigating Matthews Arena during a typical game. If visiting during a game with a large crowd, expect lines and delays when accessing concessions or rest rooms.

Return on Investment    4

Tickets for Northeastern hockey games cost either $20 for premium seats (along the sides of the rink), and $15 for regular (end zone) seats. Parking can be had for no charge (yes, you read that right, free parking in Boston) at the Camden lot located a short walk from the Arena. As you can imagine, this lot fills quickly, but there are other lots located near Matthews Arena which charge up to $22 for games.

Many fans will opt to skip the congestion and cost of driving in Boston, and simply take the T to Matthews Arena. Both the Orange and Green Lines pass within a few blocks of Matthews Arena, and a one-way fare is just $2.75. The Number One bus also has a stop at the arena.

With affordable options available for tickets, parking, and food, a trip to Matthews Arena is a most affordable option for Boston sports fans.

Extras    3

They just don't build arenas like this anymore, and that alone is worth an extra point. The exposed brick, the steel tresses, the entry arch that has greeted Boston sports fans for over a century, and the ornate lobby all harken to an earlier time.

The history of Matthews Arena is worth another point. It bears repeating that this is the oldest indoor rink still in used anywhere in the world. The Boston Bruins started here. The Carolina Hurricanes played their first games here (as the New England Whalers of the WHA). The Boston Celtics played here frequently. Presidents, dignitaries, as well as athletes and musicians have visited this site. There is a history here that just can't be duplicated elsewhere.

Some of this history is on display at Matthews Arena. In addition to banners honoring the success achieved by Northeastern's basketball and hockey teams, there are banners reminding fans of where the Celtics and Bruins got their starts. Pictures of every varsity hockey team to represent the school are displayed in the lobby. There is also a banner honoring Reggie Lewis, the local basketball star who studied at Northeastern and went on to become an All-Star and captain with the Celtics before passing away of a heart condition while still playing for the team. His funeral was held at Matthews Arena.

Final Thoughts

How many buildings out there can lay claim as the original homes of two current National Hockey League franchises?

Many buildings use the term "historic" as a synonym for "old". Matthews Arena truly presents as the former, even as it continues to function as the oldest rink still being used in the world. Renovations have kept the facility up-to-date without sacrificing the historic features of the rink.

As the least successful of Boston's four major collegiate programs, Northeastern struggles to find its place in Boston's crowded hockey scene. On-ice success aside, Matthews Arena is a must-see for any hockey historian.

Follow Paul Baker's stadium journeys on Twitter @PuckmanRI.

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Crowd Reviews

Hockey at Historic Matthews Arena

Total Score: 4.00

  • Food & Beverage: 2
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 4

Matthews Arena, home of Northeastern Huskies men’s and women’s hockey, along with men’s basketball, is an under-appreciated gem in the history-laden world of Boston sports. Opened in 1910 as simply “The Arena”, and later commonly known as the Boston Arena, the building houses the oldest indoor ice rink still in use in the world. Both the Boston Bruins and the New England (later Hartford) Whalers played their first home games here, while the Boston Celtics used the arena as their secondary home from 1946-1955. In addition to current tenant Wentworth Institute of Technology (D-III), other university hockey programs including Boston College, Boston University, Harvard, MIT, and Tufts have also called the facility home at one point before moving to their own buildings. Since Northeastern took ownership of the arena in 1979, it has undergone several renovations that have maintained its historical character while keeping it in line with what has come to be expected out of a quality facility.

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