Rupert Thompson Arena, home of the Dartmouth men's and women's hockey teams, is one of the nation's finest collegiate hockey facilities and is considered one of the premier rinks in the Northeast. Construction began in 1973 and the first hockey game took place in November 1975, when the Dartmouth men and the United States Olympic Team skated to a 3-3 tie.
Crowds of more than 4,000 regularly attend Dartmouth men's hockey games and the atmosphere can be electric on weekends when the Big Green is hosting an Ivy or ECAC Hockey League rival.
Pier Luigi Nervi, the Italian architect-engineer who also drew the plans for the complex built for the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, designed Thompson Arena. The Arena has 3,500 individually-backed seats plus room for 1,000 standees, all encircling an ice sheet 200 feet long by 85 feet wide.
There are several unique features to Thompson Arena, which was dug into the ground and involved the use of 9,500 yards of pre-cast and cast-in-place concrete and 600 tons of reinforced steel. The vaulted ceiling includes 1,024 triangular sections, each weighing one ton. Buttresses extending over the bleachers hold up the press box on the south side of the ice, while additional buttresses suspend the venue itself on the outside. At the east end of Thompson Arena, various championship banners fly, symbolizing titles won by both the men's and women's programs.
The Arena also includes five spacious, carpeted dressing rooms, plus two complete training rooms. There is also a storage room and skate-sharpening area, as well as the William Smoyer '67 Lounge, where postgame receptions are held following all men's contests. In Smoyer Lounge, one can find numerous individual and team photos displaying the hallowed history of both the Dartmouth men's and women's hockey programs.
In the summer of 2011, the arena received its latest round of renovation with the addition of a new cooling system. The new system replaced the original that was installed in the mid-1970s with the opening of the facility. Other upgrades to Thompson in 2011 included new boards and the installation of new higher and seamless glass around the ice surface.
One of the toughest arenas for visiting teams in all of college hockey, Thompson Arena’s design has been replicated by other schools trying to the create a similar feel. Three and a half decades into its life, Thompson stands as one of the best facilities for both fans and players alike in college athletics.
|Davis Rink was Dartmouth's home from 1929-1975. The ice was natural and subject to nature but it was the fans that proved the most formidable in Davis Rink. Except for reserved seating at the east end, it was standing room only. Fans rushed to stand along the fencing surrounding the ice and they were loud.||Occom Pond, just north of campus was home to Dartmouth men's hockey games during the 1920s. This photo is from January 12, 1929 when Dartmouth defeated Harvard, 2-1.
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**PLEASE NOTE: For schedule information or updates, please call (603) 646-3074 (press 1 for Facilities Hours, then 5 for Thompson Arena)