Tsongas Center

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Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell
Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell.jpg
Full namePaul E. Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell
Former namesTsongas Arena (1998-Oct. 2009)
Address300 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
LocationLowell, Massachusetts
Coordinates42°39′01″N 71°18′48″W / 42.650228°N 71.313248°W / 42.650228; -71.313248Coordinates: 42°39′01″N 71°18′48″W / 42.650228°N 71.313248°W / 42.650228; -71.313248
OwnerUniversity of Massachusetts Lowell
Capacity6,003 (hockey and basketball)
7,000 (concerts)
Broke ground1996
OpenedJanuary 27, 1998
Construction cost$24 million (original)
$5 million (2010-11 renovations)
UMass Lowell River Hawks (NCAA) (1998–present)
Lowell Lock Monsters/Devils (AHL) (1998–2010)

The Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell (formerly the Tsongas Arena[1]) is a multi-purpose facility owned by the University of Massachusetts Lowell and located in Lowell, Massachusetts. The arena was opened on January 27, 1998, and dedicated to the memory of the late Paul Tsongas, prominent Lowell native and U.S. senator. The arena was built with $4 million in funding from both the city and the university, plus another $20 million contributed from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.[2]

About the arena[edit]

Interior of the arena

The facility is home to the NCAA Division I University of Massachusetts Lowell River Hawks ice hockey team, which competes in the Hockey East Association and men's basketball team which play for the America East Conference. [3] The facility was also home to the Lowell Lock Monsters and the Lowell Devils ice hockey team, which 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 moved to Albany, NY to compete as the Albany Devils.

The Tsongas Center - which seats approximately 6,000 for hockey and 7,000 for concerts and other events - is the site of major concerts and other public events, including job fairs, skating competitions and graduation ceremonies for area high schools, colleges and universities. It also hosts major university events, such as the annual Commencement ceremonies, Open House for prospective students and the 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 rock pioneers Pixies recorded their live concert DVD and high-definition television special "The Pixies: Come Home Live 2004 World Tour" at the Tsongas Arena. The same year, progressive rock band 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 filmed at the Tsongas Center, with Mark Wahlberg portraying Lowell-born champion boxer Micky Ward 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 reached with UMass Lowell committing to major renovations to the facility.[4] In a ceremony during a game against Boston University on October 30, 2009, the deal transferring ownership to the university was signed. UMass Lowell formally took control of the arena on February 5, 2010 after completing a $1 transaction.[5]

UMass Lowell has spent more than $5 million to renovate the arena since its acquisition. LED "ribbon" boards were installed in the winter of 2010. A new high-definition video 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.

In March 2017, the arena played host to the second NWHL Isobel Cup finals between the Buffalo Beauts and Boston Pride.


  1. ^ Moran, Lyle (July 18, 2011). "UML's Tsongas Center in world's top 20 venues". The Sun. MediaNews Group. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  2. ^ Lafleur, Michael (2008-05-20). "UMass Lowell disputes price it pays for events at Tsongas Arena". Lowell Sun. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
  3. ^ https://goriverhawks.com/news/2019/7/31/mens-basketball-record-number-of-home-games-highlights-river-hawks-2019-20-slate.aspx
  4. ^ Myers, Jennifer (October 23, 2009). "Lowell closes in on deal to turn Tsongas Arena over to UMass Lowell". Lowell Sun. Retrieved February 6, 2010.
  5. ^ Abel, David (February 5, 2010). "UMass Lowell takes control of Tsongas Arena". Boston Globe. Retrieved February 6, 2010.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Tully Forum
Home of the
UMass Lowell River Hawks

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