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October 29, 2010
Home of UML hockey receives nice face lift
LOWELL — The Tsongas Center wasn’t even a teenager yet, and already it needed a face lift.
But it now looks like a million bucks.
Five million, in fact.
UMass Lowell, which purchased the 12-year-old hockey arena from the city of Lowell earlier this year for $1 and a land swap, has spent $5 million on extensive renovations to the facility and parking lots. The Tsongas Center is home to the university’s Division I ice hockey team, the River Hawks, a member of high-powered Hockey East.
The arena opened in 1998 at a cost of $21.4 million.
The most obvious changes are the Lowell Cooperative Bank Pavilion, a new Talon Club, and a million-dollar video scoreboard hanging above center ice.
The Pavilion, located at the southeast end of the arena, features 70 leather-backed seats with cup holders that overlook the ice surface, cocktail seating for 175, and three high-definition plasma televisions. It is open only to fans who have purchased a special ticket package.
“The first weekend I was up near the Pavilion Club most of the night and the people up there seemed extremely happy,” said Mike Soriano, the Tsongas Center’s marketing manager. “Pre-game, intermission, and post-game, it was packed.
“Some season’s ticket holders, if they love their seats, won’t watch the game from here,” he said. “But they could.”