A quick look into the Gene Polisseni Center

Closed off during last year’s festival, the curious structure behind the Student Alumni Union (SAU) drew everyone’s attention. Going from an empty lot being prepped for construction to a large arena, it became a new symbol of our ever-growing campus. Then last September, finally open to the public donning the phrase “ Home of the Tigers”, the Gene Polisseni center was born and ready for play.

democratandcShot of the Gene Polisseni Center. From Democrat and Chronicle

As stated on the arena’s website, the Gene Polisseni center was announced back in 2011 and was funded by a gift given by the Polisseni foundation. Finished in 2014, the 112,400 square foot arena sports: seating for over 4,000 people, club lounge, luxury suites, concession stands and an athletics hall of fame. The arena is located south of the SAU and now serves as the main arena for RIT hockey replacing the Frank Ritter arena.

Stepping into the building for the first time, your eyes will be drawn to the Hall of Fame located near the entrance highlighting past RIT athletic leaders and players with awards and trophies behind large glass cases. Past the Hall of Fame, you can find the official RIT store that sells items from hockey jerseys, sweaters to baby clothing for your little future tigers. Also featured is the list of donors and contributors to the building of the center and portraits of the current Men’s and Women’s teams.

poli_9 poli_10Donators and contributors to the area with a special photo of Gene Polisseni and Tom Golisano

Once you enter through the stairs, you are faced with the heart of the arena: the hockey rink donned with various sponsors from the surrounding area. Seating as far as the eyes can see, scoreboards on both sides and banners highlighting various teams and players. You also get a view of the special luxury suites with their own T.V and special seating.

poli_5Special commemorative jerseys for various charities and events on display

poli_8poli_7Orange seat dedicated to past RIT hockey player, Green B. Williams.

The arena is open during the hockey season and will also be the main venue for Destler’s challenge on the morning of Imagine RIT. If you’ve never been to a hockey game but want to see the arena for yourself, don’t miss your opportunity on May 2nd at 8:30am during Destler’s challenge with an opening ceremony to follow. There will also be sign-up tours given throughout the day by arena staff.


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