Compton Family Ice Arena

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The Compton Family Ice Arena (CFIA) opened its doors to the public on Oct. 18, 2011 and just three nights later (Oct. 21), hosted its first Notre Dame hockey game with the Irish handing the Rensselaer Engineers a 5-2 loss in front of a capacity crowd of 5,022.

Since then, the new state-of-the-art facility has been in constant use, serving both the Notre Dame and South Bend communities, hosting a wide-range of activities, including: Notre Dame hockey games and camps; local high school and youth hockey; sled hockey; figure skating; public skating; physical education skating classes; learn-to-skate, learn-to-curl, and other Compton Classroom instructional programs; Notre Dame intramural ice hockey and broomball; the Notre Dame men’s and women’s club hockey and precision skating teams, and commencement ceremonies. It also serves as a local meeting place.

Other patrons of the CFIA in it’s inaugural season have been youth hockey tournaments with participating teams from around the country, managed by Hockey Time Productions; showcase tournaments hosted by the 200×85; CCM Selects camps; PA Hockey High School Tournament; USA Hockey 14U Tier II Nationals, and the Brian Boitano Skating Spectacular.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

The Compton Family Ice Arena features two sheets of ice - the 200' X 90' Charles "Lefty" Smith Rink that serves as the home of the Notre Dame hockey program, and a 200' X 100' Olympic-sized sheet that also serves all patrons of the facility.

The Lefty Smith Rink has a capacity of 5,022 (4,500 chair-backed seats and 522 standing-room spaces) while the Olympic-sized rink has seating for approximately 350 available.

In addition to a dedicated visiting team suite for Notre Dame’s opponents, there are also four auxiliary locker rooms for the Smith Rink with showers and restrooms and one official’s locker room with restroom and shower.

The Olympic Rink also has four auxiliary locker rooms with restrooms and showers and one official’s locker room with restroom and shower. In addition, 700 pairs of rental skates are available to patrons of public skating in the service pro shop at ice level along with essential equipment, accessories and skate sharpening.

The Compton Family Ice Arena is the home of O’Brien’s, an exclusive 250-seat club area with an Irish pub theme, that features premium food and beverage services during Irish Hockey games for O’Brien’s season ticket holders. O’Brien’s can be used for meetings and events during non-game times as well. The Arena also has a 15′ X 15′ Daktronics four-sided center hung scoreboard, featuring 8′- 4″ X 13′-6″ 10mm video displays with integrated auxiliary displays and fascia boards.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

The facility's Media Center includes a 36-seat working press area, two coaches booths, two radio booths, one television broadcast booth, one video-replay booth and one control room. Multiple TV camera locations are cabled throughout the building

Located on the main concourse of the Compton Family Ice Arena are eight spacious public restrooms, four concession stands (operated by Centerplate) and a merchandise shop (the Irish Hockey Shop, managed by Follett’s). The concourse level also houses the Notre Dame hockey offices.

Design and construction of the Compton Family Ice Arena was under the auspices of the Southfield, Mich., office of Barton Malow, a national design and construction services firm and their project partner Rossetti Architects, also of Southfield, Mich.

Planning for the facility began on Feb. 12, 2009 when Notre Dame executive vice-president John Affleck-Graves and athletics director Jack Swarbrick announced that the University’s Board of Trustees approved the plan for a stand-alone rink.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

"There's a limit to how much the community can use our dormitories and our classrooms and our laboratories, but the athletic facilities can be a special point of contact," Swarbrick said.

“I hope we win national championships with teams that train here and I hope we build new programs for our athletes and our students. But the ultimate success of this facility will be if we inspire a young boy or a young girl from the community to shoot higher, if we challenge them to be better people because they spend time on our campus. Then we’ve realized the potential of athletics at Notre Dame.”

The official dedication of the Compton Family Ice Arena came on November 18 with the Irish facing off against Boston College on the ice. The Irish won the “Dedication Game,” knocking off the Eagles, 3-2 in overtime with the game winner coming with 1.1 seconds left in the extra session.


architect Rossetti (Southfield, Mich.)
general contractor Barton Malow
Square Footage 212,000

"Lefty" Smith Rink

Total Capacity 5,022
Seating 4,500 including 1,100 student seats divided among the 2 levels
First Game October 21, 2011 vs. Rensselaer (5-2 win)
Postseason Events Hosted 2012-13 CCHA Playoff, 2014-15 Hockey East Playoff, 2016-17 Hockey East Quarterfinals, 2018-19 B1G Ten Championship
O'Brien's 250 seat premium club area
Concessions 4 stands on main concourse
Playing Surface 200' x 90'
Scoreboard 15' x 15' Daktronics 4-sided center hung scoreboard with 8'4" x 13'6" 10mm video displays with integrated auxiliary displays and fascia boards
Lockerrooms 1 visiting suite dedicated for Notre Dame oppenents/4 auxiliary locker rooms with restrooms and showers. 1 officials' locker room with restroom and shower
Media Center 36-seat working press area, 2 coaches booths, 2 radio booths, 1 TV broadcast booth, 1 video replay booth, 1 control room; multiple TV camera locations cabled throughout
ADA Access and Seating 1.5% of total seating capacity is enhanced easy access seating.

Auxiliary Arena

Playing surface 200' x 100' Olympic size ice sheet
Locker rooms 4 auxiliary locker rooms with restrooms and showers, 1 officials locker room with restroom and shower
seating 350 bleacher seats