Campus News

Home Ice Advantage: New Watson Arena to be Community Resource

Story posted January 12, 2009

The new Sidney J. Watson Arena, which was dedicated Sunday, January 18, 2009, promises to be a popular resource for the community.

Proud of its decades-long history of sharing ice with the region's hockey leagues and skating clubs in Dayton Arena, the College enthusiastically continues the tradition in Watson Arena.

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Bowdoin's men's and women's hockey teams — comprising 35 men and 22 women — are vastly outnumbered in terms of who will call Watson "home ice."

Nearly 600 skaters from the community regularly use the arena.

They comprise hockey leagues and skating groups that serve everyone from so-called "pee-wees" to senior citizens.

A Sense of Community
Those lacing up for a new experience in Watson include:
Bowdoin Skating School 130
Brunswick High School Junior Varsity & Varsity Teams 51
Brunswick Hockey Club 30
Brunswick Men's League 30
Men's League 30
Midcoast Youth Hockey 225
Mt. Ararat High School Varsity Team 19
Mt. Ararat Middle School Team 30
Skating Club of Brunswick 50
Total 595

"We are very appreciative that Bowdoin has opened up the rink to the surrounding communities," says Sandy Bickford, athletic director for Mt. Ararat Middle School.

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"From its inception, Dayton Arena was as much a resource for the community as it was for Bowdoin," says Ashmead White Director of Athletics Jeff Ward. "The same will be true of Watson Arena."

The storied history of Bowdoin College hockey draws spectators from the Greater Brunswick area and beyond, with average men's game attendance approaching 1,000.

There is now no charge for game tickets.

The crowds will enjoy a new era of Bowdoin hockey in a setting that pays tribute to Sid Watson, who guided the Bowdoin hockey program to extraordinary heights during his career behind the bench.

"Sid Watson helped found the Midcoast Youth Hockey almost 50 years ago," says Ward.

"The College feels that commitment to our neighbors is as important today as it was then. Hockey and skating bring us all together."

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Men's hockey coach Terry Meagher calls the arena a wonderful tribute to Sid Watson's coaching and leadership legacy.

"It also honors the men and women whose commitment built our rich ice hockey tradition," says Meagher.

"It is a building that Bowdoin and the greater Brunswick community will be proud of and enjoy for many years to come."

Sidney J. Watson Arena

Crews began construction on the 68,200 square foot ice arena in September 2007 and are now putting the finishing touches in place.

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The combination of a concourse area and seating in the interior provides great views and proximity to the action.

Adjacent to Farley Field House, the arena features a 90-ft. by 200-ft. ice surface and improved locker rooms with more space for changing, equipment storage and athletic training facilities.

LEED Building Project

In June 2007 Bowdoin registered Watson Arena for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. If granted, itís the Collegeís understanding that Watson Arena would be the first LEED-certified collegiate rink in the country.


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at the core of Bowdoin's commitment to the Common Good.Learn moreLearn More

The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) created LEED as a rating system for green building.

The ice arena project anticipates receiving credits for
practices including:

  • Heavy use of recycled content in building materials
  • Extensive stormwater management plan
  • Recycling a large amount of construction site materials
  • Water-efficient fixtures in restrooms and locker rooms
  • Excellent indoor air quality (for building occupancy and during construction)
  • High-efficiency refrigeration and mechanical systems

About Sidney J. Watson

The arena in named in honor of Sid Watson, Ashmead White Director of Athletics Emeritus, a Bowdoin icon and legendary figure in the world of collegiate hockey.

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Watch a short tribute to Sid Watson on YouTube or using Quicktime

A native of Andover, Mass., Watson retired from the College in 1998. In 2001 Watson was awarded the Hobey Baker Legend of Hockey Award and was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.

He has also been inducted into the Andover Hall of Fame, the Northeastern University Hall of Fame and the Maine Sports Hall of Fame.

He passed away in April 2004 at the age of 71. Watson lived in Brunswick, Maine, and Naples, Fla., with his wife, Henrietta.

His son Christopher is a member of the Class of 1988.

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