Jan. 13, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - With the 2008-09 hockey season past the halfway point, work on the renovation of Ingalls Rink is also heading into the final stretch. Fans have already noticed many of the improvements, and while the current hockey season has been going on in the main building many more changes have been taking place underground in the addition that is one of the centerpieces of the renovation. A new photo gallery on yalebulldogs.com shows the progress that has been made.
The initial phase of the renovation has already made a major difference in the fan experience at Ingalls Rink. A new, lower ice surface has also resulted in improved viewing for all. The wooden bench seating has been refurbished to a lighter color and concrete surfaces inside the rink have been cleaned. The bathrooms at the North end of the rink have been re-built based on a new design and layout, and there is a new concessions area there as well. The wall at the North end has been replaced with windows, giving the building a dramatic new look.
Other improvements already in place include the replacement of the existing press box on the home side of the rink, the addition of a new press box on the visitors' side of the rink and the addition of lighting in the soffit that lines the ceiling along the perimeter walkway around the rink. There has also been work on Ingalls' signature humpback roof.
A new entrance to the ice has been built behind the visitors' bench, near the Yale women's ice hockey team locker room. That locker room will be the varsity visiting team locker room next year, though the Yale women will continue to use it this year while their new locker room is being built.
After starting as a hole in the ground this past summer, the underground addition beneath the parking lot on the Mansfield Street side that will house both Yale varsity hockey teams, along with lockers for other teams that use the rink, has been paved over. The walls for the interior of the underground addition are now in place. The men's and women's varsity locker rooms, a new strength and conditioning area and public locker rooms are included in this addition, and the outlines of all of these rooms are now clearly visible. Work on the underground facility will continue throughout the current hockey season so that it is ready for the 2009-10 season.
There will be further work on the interior of the main building soon. A new rink speaker system will be installed and new light fixtures will be installed over the ice surface. There will be a "Yale Hockey Heritage Area" inside the main entrance on the upper and lower levels. This area will showcase Yale's hockey history, dating back to the first intercollegiate hockey game in America -- Yale vs. Johns Hopkins in 1896. The lower level renovations will also include new bathrooms, a concessions area and a renovated Schley Room for receptions.
All of the renovations are designed to preserve Ingalls' distinctive architecture and charm while adding substantial capacity for all who use the facility. Named after former Yale men's ice hockey captains David S. Ingalls '20 and David S. Ingalls Jr. '56, the rink was designed by famed architect Eero Saarinen '34 and built in 1959. Gifts from the Ingalls family provided the bulk of the funding for its construction. Its famous arched roof, 76 feet high at its zenith and featuring a 300-foot backbone, earned it the nickname "The Whale". It has been the home of the Yale men's ice hockey team since 1959 and the women's team since 1977. Ingalls is also used for recreational skating, the Figure Skating Club, intramural hockey, high school playoffs and Yale Youth Hockey.