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  • Writer's picturePaul Baker

Schneider Arena – Providence Friars


Photos by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43

Schneider Arena

331 Huxley Ave

Providence, RI 02908



Year Opened: 1973

Capacity: 3,030

 

50 Years of Friar Puck


Schneider Arena is a small on-campus hockey arena located in the Elmhurst neighborhood of Providence, Rhode Island. It serves as home to Providence College’s men’s and women’s varsity hockey teams. In addition, many local youth teams call Schneider Arena home, as do the Rhode Island Interscholastic State Championships.


The arena was named after the Reverend Herman D. Schneider, O.P., the founder of Providence College hockey and a longtime teacher at the school. It was built to bring the popular Friars hockey team back on campus, as they played their home games at various rinks around Providence, including the old Rhode Island Auditorium. Ironically, before 1973, the school’s basketball team played on campus at Alumni Hall, and the hockey team played off campus. In 1973 the basketball team moved off campus to play at the Providence Civic Center and the hockey team moved back on campus into Schneider Arena.


The Friars compete in the Hockey East conference along with many of the top teams in New England. They have qualified for 15 NCAA tournaments, reaching the Frozen Four on five occasions. Providence College won the national championship in 2015. 45 Friar alumni have played in the National Hockey League.


Food & Beverage 4


There are a pair of concession stands in Schneider Arena’s lobby. They feature your basic arena food, including hot dogs, pizza slices, chicken tenders and nachos. There’s a good selection of snacks, including pretzels, assorted candies, popcorn, giant cookies, and even hummus.


To sample Schneider Arena’s marquee menu items, fans must leave the arena and head outside, where local favorite Saugy Hot Dogs operates a food truck. They serve up some of their signature specialty dogs here. Under the Calabria Pavilion of Champions, fans will find a selection of Chick-fil-A sandwiches. You’ll have plenty of time to duck outside during intermission, grab a bite to eat and be back at your seat for faceoff! The pavilion is even open in the cold winter months, as it comes equipped with heaters.


Coca Cola products are sold at Schneider Arena. Fans looking for an adult beverage will find Bud Light, Narragansett Lager and Whalers Rise IPA along with Black Box wines and High Noon Peach Hard Seltzer sold at the concession stands.



Atmosphere 3


With Schneider Arena’s tiny size and low roof, you would think it would be a loud place with an intimidating atmosphere for visitors. While Providence College has had a lot of success over the years at home, Schneider Arena is not as intimidating a venue as perhaps it should be.


We at Stadium Journey often say that the atmosphere at a college game is driven entirely by the student section and pep band. While the pep band does their thing throughout the game and there’s a good turnout by the student body, they don’t make a whole lot of noise and are quite reserved when compared to other student sections in the area. Even worse, many of the students leave well before the end of the game, no matter the score.


Schneider Arena is a very attractive facility, with several murals decorating the walls, and a crisp four-sided video board hanging at center ice. This board is put to good use with replays, graphics and crowd shots. Younger fans in attendance will certainly enjoy the trivia contests, youth team skates, and other diversions presented during play stoppages. Since the 2023-24 season is Schneider’s 50th, videos highlighting the arena’s history are featured.


Neighborhood 3


Schneider Arena is located on the northern edge of the Providence College campus, near many of the school’s other athletic facilities, including Anderson Stadium.


The Elmhurst neighborhood where Providence College is located is a residential neighborhood, so visiting fans will need to venture out a bit to find some of the city’s excellent dining, entertainment and lodging options. Luckily, downtown Providence is only about two miles from the PC campus. In addition to all the city’s attractions, the Amica Mutual Pavilion, home of the Friars basketball team, is located here.


For fans wanting to stay near campus, Stadium Journey recommends The Abbey, known for their collection of signature burgers and selection of 92 draft beers. Otherwise, we recommend you head downtown towards Federal Hill, Providence’s version of Little Italy, for more great dining options.


Fans 3


The Friars annually average about 2,500 fans per game at Schneider Arena, which ranks them solidly in the middle of the nationwide Division One attendance rankings. Unlike many schools in this part of the country, hockey is not the top athletic attraction at the school, as Friar basketball rules the scene at Providence College.


Still, hockey fans in Rhode Island are among the most passionate and knowledgeable in the country, and those at Schneider Arena are no exception. You’ll find fans who have been coming to the rink for decades alongside locals. Unfortunately, the student section isn’t as large or as loud as you’d expect. It’s quite a letdown after watching the students stream in before opening faceoff through their own dedicated entrance in the back of the building.


With many of the Friars conference foes in Hockey East located close to Providence, you can expect to see a good turnout from visiting fans at Friars games. Likewise, when the annual Mayor’s Cup game against Brown University is held at Schneider Arena, you can expect a filled building and a boisterous atmosphere.



Access 3


Given Schneider Arena’s location in a residential neighborhood close to both Interstate 95 and Route 146, most fans drive to Friar hockey games. Parking is plentiful around the arena, either in a small garage adjacent to the facility or on-street.


For those fans using public transportation, RIPTA’s number 55 bus has a stop directly next to Schneider Arena, which stops hourly at the facility. Check the RIPTA website for schedules and maps.

Recent renovations to Schneider Arena completely reconfigured the facility. Fans will enter a bright, attractive lobby, which contains the concession stands, rest rooms, a souvenir stand and displays honoring Providence College’s long hockey history, including the championship trophy won by the Friars in 2015.


Fans will enter the arena through one of three vomitories which lead from the lobby to a walkway which completely encircles the arena. All the seats at Schneider Arena are individual silver stadium seats. The seating bowl is raised about three feet above ice level, putting fans right on top of the action and ensuring excellent sight lines from all seats. Unfortunately, the presence of numerous safety railings and the walkway make some seats less desirable than others. You may want to avoid the first few rows in the upper level due to foot traffic on the walkway.


Schneider Arena is a small barn, but it’s easy to get around here. Lines do form at concession stands and rest rooms during intermission, but they move quickly.


Return on Investment 3


Providence College utilizes a variable pricing schedule for their games at Schneider Arena. Tickets for most conference games cost $20 per ticket. Some games are priced at $15 per ticket, with selected marquee games priced at $25 per ticket.


Free parking is available in a small parking garage adjacent to Schneider Arena as well as on-street all around the facility. Concessions are priced similarly to other area facilities.


Extras 5

Extra points are awarded for the displays all around Schneider Arena that honor Providence College hockey’s history. In addition to the 2015 NCAA Championship Trophy proudly displayed in the lobby, there are murals adorning the walls throughout the facility. Providence Frozen Four teams, Olympians, and alumni who have represented their countries in international competition are honored. Plaques commemorating Friar All-Americans, both male and female, line the outer façade of the luxury boxes.


Inside the arena, Providence has eschewed the tradition of hanging banners from the rafters. Instead, conference championships, NCAA tournament and Frozen Four appearances by both the men’s and women’s teams are painted directly on the walls of Schneider Arena. An exception is made for the 2015 Championship banner.


Retired numbers for Friar legends Lou Lamoriello, Ron Wilson and Cammi Granato are displayed in the lobby and on the walls of the arena.


Providence’s mascot, Friar Dom, earns an extra point for being one of the more unique mascots in the country. He can be found interacting with fans and skating on the ice throughout the game.



Final Thoughts


Providence College is one of the rare New England colleges where hockey is not king of the school’s sports scene. This fact does not diminish Schneider Arena’s charm. This cozy rink is an attractive, affordable place to catch some quality college hockey.


Follow Paul Baker’s stadium journeys on Twitter and Instagram @PuckmanRI.



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