Campus News

Sidney J. Watson Arena Construction is Underway

The Bowdoin Campaign

Story posted April 27, 2008

Construction of the Sidney J. Watson Arena is well underway. Crews got started on the 68,200 square foot ice arena in September 2007, and it's expected to be finished next winter.

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Rendering of the arena's lobby


The ice arena is adjacent to Farley Field House and will have a seating capacity of 1,900.

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


It will feature a 90-ft. by 200-ft. ice surface and greatly improved locker rooms with more space for changing, equipment storage and athletic training facilities.

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

Its planners say it will have the best and most energy efficient refrigeration system and best dehumidification system, seating design and home team accommodations of any Division III collegiate arena.

Fundraising for the $20-million arena continues.

Bowdoin's rich tradition of success in ice hockey can be traced to the visionary leaders who built Dayton Arena in 1956 and the skilled men and women drawn to coach and play in what was then a pioneering athletic facility.

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Rendering of main arena

Dayton Arena has served as an important element in Bowdoin ice hockey's tremendous record of achievement.

Watson Ice Arena Construction Project
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The Watson Ice Arena is among the top-priority building projects of The Bowdoin Campaign, which ends in 2009. These projects will have a dramatic impact on student life, reflecting the needs and interests of our diverse and talented student body.


A half-century later, Bowdoin is again acting with vision and resolve to meet the needs of its superb programs and maintain its commitment to this significant part of student life.

The construction of a new arena will free up valuable space on the central campus for other uses.

Once the new arena is up and running, the current plan is to dismantle Dayton Arena and build a new parking lot on the site.

A 360-space parking lot is also planned for the new arena.

LEED Building Project

In June 2007 Bowdoin registered the Watson Arena as a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building project.

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)
  • The most energy-efficient refrigeration system available
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Aerial rendering

Sidney J. Watson

The arena in named in honor of Bowdoin icon Sid Watson, Ashmead White Director of Athletics Emeritus.

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Sid Watson

An immortal in the world of collegiate hockey, Watson guided the Bowdoin hockey program to extraordinary heights during his career behind the bench.

A native of Andover, Mass., Watson retired from the College in 1998. In 2001 Watson was awarded the Hobey Baker Legend of Hockey Award by 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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