|Former names||Achilles Rink (1975-2003)|
|Location||807 Union Street|
Schenectady, New York
|Surface||201x86 ft (hockey)|
|Broke ground||November 2, 1974|
|Opened||November 15, 1975|
|Construction cost||$1.5 million|
|Architect||Link and Cullen Architects (Schenectady, NY)|
|General contractor||Hanson Construction Co.|
|Union College Dutchmen & Dutchwomen|
(men's and women's hockey)
The Frank L. Messa Rink at Achilles Center is a 2,225-seat multi-purpose arena in Schenectady, New York. It is home to the Union College Dutchmen ice hockey and Dutchwomen ice hockey teams, members of the ECAC Hockey League. The facility opened in 1975 as Achilles Rink and was named in honor of its original benefactor, the Rev. H. Laurence Achilles, Sr. In 2003, it was renovated and renamed Frank L. Messa Rink at Achilles Center in honor of Frank L. Messa, class of 1973, whose generosity made the renovation possible. One of the unique and distinguishing features of the building is its light colored wooden dome roof which is supported by a complex geometric pattern of dark colored wooden beams. The arena also houses the Travis J. Clark '00 Strength Training Facility.
During the summer of 2003, the rink underwent phase 1 of a $1.5 million renovation after a gift from alumnus Frank L. Messa '73. Renamed Frank L. Messa Rink at Achilles Center, the renovated facility was officially unveiled for competition on October 18, 2003. Improvements included a new ice sheet with state of the art chilling system, improved climate control, spring loaded boards, seamless glass, new overhead center scoreboard, reconfigured penalty boxes, more spacious aisles, and seating with improved sight lines. Seating capacity was reduced from 2,504 to 2,225 to accommodate the changes. Phase 2 of the project was completed during the 2003-2004 academic year and included construction of new locker rooms, a reconfigured lobby, a sports medicine area, and training facility.
On January 2016, a $10 million renovation plan for Achilles Center was announced by Union College Athletic Director Jim McLaughlin. The list of improvements for the project includes: New ice sheet floor, sideboards & glass, new main entrance at south side of rink, new video scoreboard, new seating, new concession stands, new restroom facilities, new coaches offices and new hospitality room with views of the rink and football field. Fundraising for the project has been approved but a time line for start of construction has not yet been announced.
- On March 12, 2010, Quinnipiac University beat Union College 3-2 in the second longest game in NCAA history. Greg Holt scored at 10:22 of the 5th overtime. The game took 150:22 to decide the winner. The box score can be found at Welcome to collegehockeystats.net.
- It has also played host to the 3rd longest NCAA men's ice hockey game in NCAA history. It occurred on March 4, 2006, in Game 2 of the ECAC Tournament First Round best of three series between Yale University and Union. Yale won 3-2 at 1:35 into the 5th overtime. The game, overall, took 141:35 to decide the winner.
- When the rink was first constructed, College officials planned to convert the rink into 4 tennis courts during the spring and fall seasons.
- There used to be four sheets of curling ice underneath the hockey rink as H. Laurence Achilles was an avid supporter of the sport of curling. The curling rink has since been used for other purposes.
- The facility has hosted various rock concerts and musical acts including the Ramones on May 29, 1982, Phish on May 17, 1992, Indigo Girls on April 25, 1994 and Green Day May 10, 1998.
- "Union planning major renovations for Messa Rink | The Daily Gazette". dailygazette.com.
- "Quinnipiac at Union - Friday, March 12, 2010". collegehockeystats.net. Retrieved 2010-03-13.
- "College Hockey News: Almanac ... Longest Games". collegehockeynews.com. Retrieved 2016-04-19.
- "Yale at Union - Saturday, March 4, 2006". collegehockeystats.net. Retrieved 2010-01-09.
- Union College Concordiensis 1973