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University of Maine announces expansion to Alfond Sports Complex

On March 6, 2024, the University of Maine Athletics announced a $320 million renovation project from the Harold Alfond Foundation which includes a $170 million investment in UMaine Athletics to fund the Athletics Facilities Master Plan as part of the UMS Transforms. The money represents one of the largest contributions ever to a college sports program.

Adding 4,900 sq. ft. to the Alfond Arena entrance, and 5,000 sq. ft. renovation to the existing Alfond Arena. The men’s and women’s 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 teams will also benefit from a new film room equipped for 42 individuals. Upgrades also include improved branding and structure tunnel leading to the arena. 

The two hockey facilities will be connected by a new concourse entrance, featuring a new building design to complement the Alfond Arena profile that is very recognizable. The new spacious concourse will include renovated points of sale for tickets, concessions as well as a brand-new area for the Bear Necessities team store. A new Hockey Hall of Fame will preserve and celebrate the history of Maine Hockey. 

When entering the facility, individuals can expect to be welcomed to an area celebrating Maine’s only Division 1 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. 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. Adding 13,000 sq. ft. to the Shawn Walsh Hockey Center.

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 newly renovated area will feature improved branding to celebrate the history of Maine Hockey as well as recognition opportunities for donors and improved entrance for premium seat holders. 

The upgrades to the Alfond Arena and Shawn Walsh Hockey Center will further UMaine’s commitment to excellence in the state’s only Division 1 athletics program, strengthen gender equity and provide a preferred destination for high school sport championships and community events. 

 “The enhancements will provide championship-caliber resources for the 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,” Director of Athletics Jude Killy said. With support of the Harold Alfond Foundation, UMaine will continue on and expand athletic facilities and the growing success of the hockey programs. 

In addition to the renovations to the Alfond Arena and Shawn Walsh Hockey Center, The Athletic department will add improved student ticketing procedures for football and ice hockey. A new arena lighting system and will also add a beer garden for Alfond Arena and an upgraded beer garden for Alfond Stadium. Maine Athletics will also continue to consider options for the in-venue fan experience, as well as parking and traffic flow procedures. 

The master plan of renovating the athletic facilities at UMaine is well underway, the Alfond received a new video board, ribbon boards, new sound system and LED showcase lighting system that was completed in 2023. Along with new football turf in 2021, the new softball complex in 2023, the new field hockey complex also in 2023, and a new baseball scoreboard and fencing completed in 2023. Future upgrades for the athletics include a new soccer and track and field complex, Mahaney Dome will get new turf, and an indoor connector to Memorial Gym. As well as Morse Arena construction to begin in 2025. Morse Arena to be the future home of the Men’s and Women’s basketball. 

WBRC in Bangor Maine, and Crawford Architects from Kansas City, Missouri will serve as the architects for the project. Construction management will be executed by PC Construction from Portland, ME. Forty Nine Degrees from Coldwater, OH will lead the internal branding efforts. 

The Alfond Expansion is well underway and is anticipated to finish Fall 2024. The expansion is the beginning of a transformation of UMaine Athletics. 

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