A One Million Dollar Devotion to Team for an Electronic Scoreboard

Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester Institute of Technology – known as RIT, made the decision to get a new arena for their Tigers hockey team. William Destler, RIT president, called it “Tiger Power Play” and began the process of raising the funds to pay for the arena. The estimated cost should be around $30 million. Little did he know that one of their own devoted alumni was prepared to donate a $1 million top of the line, high tech electronic scoreboard.

The main quality ice arena in the RIT area is the Frank Ritter Ice Arena. This is an excellent skating location, with a max of 2,100 people, but is used by the general public as well as intra-mural teams. Hockey has become such an incredibly popular sport that the limited capacity has actually hurt the ability to have the larger attendance crowds.

William Destler wanted to get a professional arena for the Tigers and has already raised around $3 million. Destler was contacted by J.M. Allain, a Multidisciplinary Studies grad of 2003 on the topic of an electronic scoreboard. This scoreboard will be front and center and include all of the best technology that can be offered for today’s scoreboards. Allain is offering the generous donation, as he feels that it is important to support the continued excellence of the RIT hockey team. Allain is originally French-Canadian, where hockey is an integral part of every child’s life experience. His devotion to the team and the game goes beyond just being a student at RIT.

Head RIT Coach, Wayne Wilson, feels that the new arena will add a more competitive edge as host to larger games as well as during the hockey recruitment for their team members.

There are current thoughts to place the arena location near Global Village. There is a parking lot in the back that has sufficient enough room to build. Additional parking area would be allocated in the case where multiple games are played at the new arena and Gordon Field House. While the major plans are to use the arena for major hockey team games, it will also be used in the multifunctional area as well.

There have been other alumni that have come forward with high level donations in support of Tiger Power Play. RIT ’89 alumnus member, Stephen Schultz (computer science) and wife Vicki Schultz (’89 alumni business admin, MBA) have made their own generous donation in the amount of $1 million dollars. The Schultz’ believe that this donation is just part of their own personal support of the Tigers. The donations thus far have jump started an incredible electricity and school spirit. Destler believes that the balance of the money needed could be borrowed and easily paid back with the profits from the sales of tickets, concession stands and other revenue avenues.

The tradition of excellence in hockey at RIT has included many Divisional II and III level championships as well as the title in the Atlantic Hockey Association and the Division I NCCA Frozen Four tournament appearance. It’s time for RIT to have an arena that will exemplify and show the high caliber of their teams and the communities that support them.


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