Compton Family Ice Arena
Architect: Rossetti (Southfield, Mich.)
General Contractor: Barton Malow
Cost: $50 million
Square Footage: 212,000
“Lefty” Smith Rink
Total Capacity: 5,022
Seating: 4,500 including 1,100 student seats divided
among the 2 levels
O’Brien’s: 250 seat premium club area
Concessions: 4 stands on main concourse
Restrooms: 8 public restrooms with parity for women and
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
Locker Rooms: 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
ADA Access and Seating: 1.5% of total seating capacity
is enhanced easy access seating.
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
Seating: 350 bleacher seats
- University of Notre Dame D-1 Men’s Ice Hockey
- Men’s and Women’s club hockey and precision skating teams
- Intramural ice hockey and broomball
- Youth, high school school adult ice hockey, sled hockey, figure skating and public skating
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 (It’s Hockey Time); showcase tournaments hosted by the High Performance Hockey League; Bauer Select camps; Chicago Mission games; the United States Hockey League (USHL), and the Brian Boitano Skating Spectacular.
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.
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.
On Sept. 11, 2010, a project blessing ceremony for the $50-million facility was held with many of the key benefactors in attendance. At the ceremony, Swarbrick announced that the building would be named the Compton Family Ice Arena in honor of the lead donors – Kevin and Gayla Compton and family. The Comptons are part of the ownership group of the National Hockey League’s San Jose Sharks.
He also talked about the new building and its importance to the Notre Dame and Michiana communities. “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 dedication ceremonies acknowledged all of the building’s donors, especially the lead benefactors, Kevin and Gayla Compton and their children Cameron, Elena and Matthew for whom the building is named. Other key donors included the John and Mary Jo Boler family, their daughter Jill Boler McCormack and her husband, Dan, and the Boler’s son, Matthew, with his wife, Christine; the family of Frank and Mary Beth O’Brien, including their late son, Frankie, who played hockey and lacrosse at Notre Dame from 1984-88; the Thomas J. Rolfs Family Foundation; the Michael T. McLoughlin family, and the Timothy Sutherland family. 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.