Matthews Arena is the oldest indoor ice hockey arena in the world. Once known as Boston Arena, Matthews Arena is also the oldest multi-purpose athletic building that is still active. The building was first opened in 1910 on Northeastern University’s eastern portion of the campus. Northeastern University owns Matthews Arena. The National Hockey League Boston Bruins and the World Hockey Association New England Whalers first played their games in the arena. In addition, National Basketball Association Boston Celtics play some of their games in Matthews Arena.
Northeastern University established a men’s hockey program in 1929, and they have always played their games in Matthews Arena. The facility was the first hockey arena in Boston, so it has also been home for Boston College, Harvard, MIT, Boston University, and Tufts. The surface of the rink is 90 X 200, and has room for 4,500 people sitting. The standing room capacity is 6,000.
Professional boxing has also used Matthews Arena for their bouts. Boxers, such as Joe Louis, Jack Dempsey, and Gene Tunney have all fought at the stadium. In addition, during his years with the Boston Red Sox, Babe Ruth played pick up hockey at Matthews Arena. Other events have taken place at Matthews Arena as well. Presidents, such as Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Bill Clinton have also spoken at the arena. Other notable people who have spoken at the venue include Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earnhardt, Billy Graham, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Matthews Arena has also hosted more somber events, such as the funeral of basketball all-star and former Northeastern player Reggie Lewis. Musical groups, including Chubby Checker, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Bob Dylan have also performed at Matthews Arena. Moreover, in 1932, the world-renowned Texas Rangers brought their horses and wild steers to the arena.
Currently, Matthews Arena is home to Northeastern University men’s and women’s hockey teams, the Wentworth Institute of Technology’s hockey teams. The venue is also used for many campus events at Northeastern, such as the graduation ceremony. There are many days that the public is invited to skate free at the arena. Matthews Arena is over a hundred years old but still remains a popular place for world-class events and hockey games. It is a memorable venue for anyone to visit.