Northeastern Files Letter of Intent to Build New Multipurpose Arena

The worst kept rumor at Northeastern has finally arrived at City Hall. Matthews Arena, the world’s oldest multipurpose arena and home of the oldest indoor ice sheet in the world, will be seeing it’s long and storied history come to a close after 115 years.

The home of Northeastern hockey and basketball and original home to professional and collegiate athletics in Boston, including the Beanpot, the Celtics, and the Bruins, Matthews Arena will be torn down according to a Letter of Intent the school filed with the Boston Planning and Development Authority, and Northeastern will build a new home on the site for their hockey, basketball, and other athletic programs. The plan calls for a 290,000 square foot project, roughly 1.5x the size of nearby Agganis Arena.

You can read the filing here.

This is a moment that seemed to be forced on Northeastern, with the arena’s foundation being questioned considerably for the last decade, and speculation only intensified when a year ago Northeastern made the decision to close off half of the DogHouse as well as the Varsity Club and various office and team space and put up metal scaffolding that seemed to be supporting the west end of the structure. A report filed last month detailed the state of the ground beneath the arena, which is both unstable and toxic from hundreds of years of Boston development, and now the full picture will begin to come into focus.

This is an incredibly bittersweet moment for Northeastern, as we all love Matthews, but this is also an opportunity to bring the University to the forefront of Hockey East and the CAA and bring in much-needed amenities for both fans and players while hopefully retaining some of the key elements that made Matthews the arena that it is. We’ll have more on the process as it unfolds, but as of today, we’re officially on the path to a new Northeastern.