Bright Hockey Center
The Home of Harvard Men's and Women's Hockey
- Men's and women's hockey coaches' offices
- Men's and women's varsity locker rooms
- Two additional locker rooms
- Blue Line Room
- 204 ft. X 87 ft. skating rink
Bright Hockey Center
65 North Harvard Street
Boston, MA 02163
While hockey at Harvard began in 1898 at Franklin Park in Boston, the Crimson has called the Alexander H. Bright Hockey Center home since 1979 and celebrates the 30th anniversary of its opening this season.
As technology has improved over the last 30 years, so has Bright Hockey Center. In 2008, it became the first arena in ECAC Hockey to feature a video scoreboard. The four-screened Daktronics display hangs over center ice to provide fans with video and instant replays.
The Bright Hockey Center was dedicated on November 19, 1979, when the Crimson hosted the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team in Cambridge. More than 3,000 spectators turned out for the opening of Harvard's third new athletic facility in three years.
From 1956 to 1978, Harvard played its hockey games at the Donald C. Watson Rink, a facility loved by hockey players for its good, hard ice but cursed by many spectators for its cold temperatures. Harvard made plans for expansion of facilities in the early 1970s with a brand new ice rink to be constructed at Soldiers Field. Costs soared, however, and the project had to be revised. The new rink, estimated to cost somewhere around $5 million, would not be built after all. Watson would instead be renovated.
While Harvard's men's and women's teams played out of local rinks in 1978-79, the "renovation" of Watson Rink took place. The concrete walls of Watson's sides were knocked down and the new borders extended 10 feet in each direction. The wooden ceiling of Watson remained, but a new roof topped it.
Named after former Harvard hockey player Alec Bright '19, the Bright Hockey Center seats nearly 2,800 people, up more than 800 from Watson's old capacity. There is additional space for some 500 standees. Long-time Harvard coach Bill Cleary chose to lengthen the playing surface by five feet to emphasize the skating game he favored. The skating surface is now 204 feet by 87 feet.
The Bright ice has been more than friendly to Crimson skaters through the years. During one stretch from 1985-87, the Harvard men put together a home-ice winning streak of 29 games. Since Bright opened, the Crimson boasts an impressive home record of 275-113-27 for a .695 winning percentage, including unbeaten marks in 1985-86, 1988-89 and 1993-94.
Four locker rooms exist beneath the stands, one each for the men's varsity, women's varsity, club and opposing teams. These carpeted rooms are supplemented by rooms for officials, coaches and equipment storage. The equipment room, renovated in summer 2008 has a stick room with a humidity monitor to prevent sticks from drying out.
In the arena proper, the walls paint a pictoral history of the more than 100 years of the Crimson's proud hockey tradition. In addition to photos of each Harvard team dating back to the inception of both the men's and women's programs, there are photos of each of Harvard's All-American Hockey players; a trophy case proudly displaying Tournament trophies. Hanging from the ceiling at the west end of the arena is perhaps the most prominent statement in the entire building: side-by side banners commemorating the men's 1989 NCAA national championship and the women's AWCHA national championship in 1999.
Other reminders include banners that hang from the rafters depicting Harvard insignias and the banners representing the success that both the men's and women's hockey programs have enjoyed over the years: the ECAC titles; the Beanpot crowns, the NCAA tournament appearances. Hanging alongside the National Championship banners is one with a Crimson "4" - the retired number of former Crimson skater, hockey coach, and Director of Athletics Bill Cleary, which was retired in 2001 and is the only number - of any of Harvard's 41 varsity sports - ever to be taken out of circulation.
The Crimson's varsity locker rooms were renovated in summer 2007. Custom-crafted Canadian maple lockers; new ceiling, lighting and plumbing fixtures; carpeting; rubber flooring and new audio and video technologies are some of the improved features of the new locker rooms.
Several other improvements have been made at Bright in recent seasons, including installation of a new, energy-efficient lighting system prior to the 2007-08 season. A new public address and sound system was installed in 2003. New dasher boards, seamless GlassFlex and protective end netting were added a year earlier.
Open seasonally November-March
For more information, please call (617) 495-3454
Recreation page with weekly general skate times (posted weekly on Thursdays)