On September 17, 2010 it was officially announced the men's and women's ice hockey programs will move to the NCAA Division I level for the 2012-13 season. The teams will compete in the existing 1,350-seat Penn State Ice Pavilion until the new arena is completed in the Fall of 2013. The new ice arena will be capable of hosting other on-ice events, including ice shows and National Hockey League and American Hockey League exhibition games. The main ice arena will feature a main competition ice arena with seating planned to be around 6,000 spectators. The facility will also include a practice rink, offices, locker room and player areas. The facility will be 100% privately funded as part of the $100 million gift, the largest in the university's history, to advance the men's and women's ice hockey programs to the NCAA Division I level and provide a suitable facility for that move.
On November 5, 2010 the Penn State's Board of Trustees appointed Crawford Architects and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson the architects for the new arena. Crawford Architects has worked on projects in the US and internationally and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson designed the Biobehavioral Health Building, currently under construction on the PSU campus.