Paul E. Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Paul E. Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell
Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell.jpg
Location 300 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way
Lowell, MA 01852
Broke ground 1996
Opened January 27, 1998
Owner University of Massachusetts Lowell
Operator Global Spectrum
Surface 200x85 ft (hockey)
Construction cost $28 million
Capacity 6,496 (hockey and basketball)
7,800 (concerts)
Tenants
UMass Lowell River Hawks (NCAA) (1998-present)
Lowell Lock Monsters/Devils (AHL) (1998–2010)

The Paul E. Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell (formerly the Paul E. Tsongas Arena) is a multi-purpose facility owned by the University of Massachusetts Lowell and located in Lowell, Massachusetts. The arena was opened and dedicated to the memory of prominent Lowell native and U.S. senator Paul Tsongas, (who died in 1997) on January 27, 1998. The arena was built with $4 million funding from both the city and the university, plus another $20 million contributed from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, largely in support of UMass Lowell.[1]

The facility is home to the NCAA Division I University of Massachusetts Lowell River Hawks ice hockey team, who compete in the Hockey East Association. The facility was also home to the Lowell Devils ice hockey team, who competed in the American Hockey League from 1998 to 2010. The Devils ended their stay in Lowell due to financial difficulties and the arena's new ownership and has moved to Albany, NY to compete as the Albany Devils. Hockey seating capacity is approximately 6,496, while concert seating capacity is approximately 7,800. UMass Lowell ranks No. 12 in the NCAA's Division I for annual hockey attendance.

The Tsongas Center is the site of major concerts and other public events, including job fairs, skating competitions and the graduations of several local high schools. It also hosts major university events, such as the annual Commencement ceremonies, Open House for prospective students and Chancellor's Speaker Series. The series debuted in 2012 with bestselling author Stephen King. Also in 2012, the Tsongas Center was the site of a debate between then-incumbent U.S. Sen. Scott Brown and challenger Elizabeth Warren, which drew more than 5,000 people and was covered by more than 100 media outlets, including NBC News and MSNBC.

In 2004, alternative music pioneers Pixies recorded their live concert DVD and high-definition television special "The Pixies: Come Home Live 2004 World Tour" at Tsongas Arena. In the same year, the group Yes released a DVD of their 35th anniversary tour performance at the venue titled "Songs from Tsongas."

In 2009, the boxing scenes of the 2010 film The Fighter were shot here with Mark Wahlberg portraying Micky Ward, Lowell's own boxer who won a world championship, and Christian Bale portraying his brother Dicky Eklund.

UMass Lowell and the city of Lowell entered into negotiations in 2009 with the intent to transfer ownership of the arena and the land adjacent to it, to the university. In late October 2009, it was reported that the deal had been perfected, with UMass Lowell committing to $5 million in renovations to the facility.[2] In a ceremony during a game against Boston University on October 30, 2009, the deal transferring ownership to the university was signed, and UMass Lowell formally took control of the arena on February 5, 2010 after completing a $1 transaction.[3]

UMass Lowell has spent $5 million to renovate the arena since its acquisition. LED "ribbon" boards were installed in the winter of 2010. A new high-definition scoreboard and sound system were installed during the summer 2010. A new club seating area was built in conjunction with a new upscale bar. In the summer of 2011, new ice-making equipment was installed, followed by new luxury boxes and press box in 2012.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lafleur, Michael (2008-05-20). "UMass Lowell disputes price it pays for events at Tsongas Arena". Lowell Sun. Retrieved 2008-05-30. 
  2. ^ Myers, Jennifer (October 23, 2009). "Lowell closes in on deal to turn Tsongas Arena over to UMass Lowell". Lowell Sun. Retrieved February 6, 2010. 
  3. ^ Abel, David (February 5, 2010). "UMass Lowell takes control of Tsongas Arena". Boston Globe. Retrieved February 6, 2010. 

External links[edit]

Tsongas Center
Preceded by
Tully Forum
Home of the
UMass Lowell River Hawks

1998 – present
Succeeded by
current
Preceded by
Family Arena
Host of Lockdown
2008
Succeeded by
Liacouras Center

Coordinates: 42°39′01″N 71°18′48″W / 42.650228°N 71.313248°W / 42.650228; -71.313248