UConn’s new, on-campus hockey arena finally has a name: Toscano Family Ice Forum, named “in recognition of a leadership gift” by Board of Trustees Chairman Dan Toscano and his family.
“UConn has had a profound impact on my life, and its quest for eminence in everything it does has become a passion for my family,” Toscano said in a release. “It’s not just giving back for us. We invest in the ambitions of the next generation and the faculty and staff that show them the way. The university has many champions in academics, research, and athletics. With this amazing new facility coming online, I am eager to see our hockey programs continue their rapid ascent among the nation’s best programs and become a perennial part of our championship tradition at the university.”
The rink’s new name pays homage to UConn hockey’s current home: The Mark Edwards Freitas Ice Forum, located next to the new arena on Jim Calhoun Way. The name was approved by the Institutional Advancement Committee of the UConn Board of Trustees on Tuesday but still needs a final stamp by the full board during its next meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 28.
Toscano is a 1987 graduate of UConn who was born and raised in Bristol but now lives in Darien. In addition to serving as the Board of Trustees Chairman, he is the managing director of global leveraged finance at Morgan Stanley & Co. Toscano and his wife, Tresa, have both donated and raised money for both academics and athletics at UConn.
“Dan Toscano and his family have been remarkable friends and supporters of UConn and our athletics programs for many years, and are passionate hockey fans,” athletic director David Benedict said. “Our men’s and women’s programs compete in the strongest hockey league in the nation, and with the help of this gift they’ll now be playing in one of the best campus ice arenas.”
“I met Dan Toscano my first year at UConn and was immediately impressed with his school spirit – not only for UConn athletics but for everything about the university,” UConn men’s hockey head coach Mike Cavanaugh said. “His enthusiasm and passion has not wavered one bit since then, and actually, it has grown. His daily commitment to help make UConn the best in class at every turn is exceptional. For me, personally, I am truly fortunate to call Dan a mentor and friend. It’s only fitting that our hockey program will play in a new state of the art facility bearing the Toscano name.”
The new arena is expected to open in early 2023 with UConn planning to host a men’s and women’s doubleheader on Jan. 14 for the grand opening. It’ll seat 2,600 and includes an ice-level lounge, club lounge, rail seats and a student deck in the arena as well as team areas that feature new locker rooms, training space, lounges, dining areas, an academic counseling/study room. It’s also built to be energy and water efficient as part of the university’s commitment to making its capital projects environmentally sustainable.
UConn women’s hockey opens its season this Friday against RIT at Freitas Ice Forum while the men’s team begins its campaign on Saturday, Feb. 1 at Vermont.