In 2013, Colgate’s Board of Trustees agreed unanimously to upgrade the university’s athletic facilities. As of this semester, Colgate students will be able to experience the new hockey rink. Due to the Class of 1965’s record-breaking donations, the hockey rink will be named after their fellow classmate, Steven J. Riggs, who was killed in Vietnam in 1968. While at Colgate, Riggs served as the hockey team captain and was inducted posthumously into the Colgate Athletics Hall of Honor. The Riggs Hockey Rink will be situated in the Class of 1965 Arena.
The Riggs Hockey Rink will include a variety of enhancements such as new lockers, better heating and a high-definition jumbotron. The rink will create a better viewing experience for the fans, and the new jumbotron will allow the attendees to get to know the players better. Since the giant screen will allow for instant replay, fans will be able to review critical points of the game.
Assistant Coach to the Men’s Hockey Team Mike Harder ’97 explained how the new rink will improve fan experiences.
“I’d say it’s for the overall hockey-person experience. Of course it will be nicer, but the [rink] itself doesn’t matter. We’d play anywhere. We’d play on Taylor Lake if you asked us to,” Harder said.
Harder hopes that improved fan experiences will foster greater energy at games and that a new configuration of the stands will produce a more intense way to watch Colgate hockey.
“The stands will be steeper, which allow the fans to feel like they’re on top of the players,” Harder said. “It will be louder and there will be better energy. The players are through-the-roof
excited [for the new space].”
Senior forward Tim Harrison described how the new hockey rink will benefit the hockey program.
“The new rink is huge for our program, not only for our team but also for recruiting new players to come and keep the Colgate hockey tradition alive,” Harrison said. “I’m very excited to play in the Class of 1965 Arena and am excited to be the first team to set the new tone for our program.”
Creating a more inclusive fan experience is anticipated to boost community support for the hockey team.
“I think it’s the quintessential college hockey rink because it’s small [and] cozy,” Harder said. “The experience for everyone will be better.”
“There was a lot you could complain about [the old rink], but we loved it, because it was home. But it was time [for a new rink],” Harder said.
The Riggs Hockey Rink will open in October. The season’s opening game takes place on October 1 against Army.