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History

The University of Pennsylvania Class of 1923 Ice Skating Rink has a rich history. In 1968, a group called the "Friends of Pennsylvania Hockey" and the Class of 1923, led by Howard Butcher III, decided to donate the 3.2 million dollar facility to the University of Pennsylvania. At the time of the donation, it was the largest class gift in Penn’s history.  Howard Butcher III, Dr. John Cleveland, and Bill R. Wise led the development of the class donation. The rink was dedicated on October 24, 1970 and opened to serve Penn and neighboring skating community.

The facility operates as the second largest collegiate arena in Pennsylvania. It was operated by the University of Pennsylvania Athletic department from 1972-1980 and Comcast-Spectacor from 1981-1983.  Penn's University of Pennsylvania’s Division of  Business Services assumed oversight in 1983 and remains in that role. Throughout this time, the facility has hosted: Penn Varsity and Club ice hockey, Drexel University’s ice hockey club, Villanova's and St Joseph's ice hockey, Philadelphia Flyers, Philadelphia Freeze women’s ice hockey, Philadelphia Bulldogs professional roller hockey, Scott Hamilton's Champions on Ice, Disney on Ice, multiple concerts, trade shows (including the Penn Computer Connection's Back-to-School sale), and the first three years of PennMOVES, an annual sale of items students did not take with them when they left campus at the end of the academic year.

In 2019, the Penn Ice Rink celebrated the completion of an $8.2 million renovation project that supported numerous upgrades and improvements to the facility, which has enhanced the overall experience, extended the rink's hours for near year-round operation, and provided long-term operational sustainability, as well as allow Snider Hockey to expand the delivery of its nationally-acclaimed youth enrichment services to a wider audience.