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Houston Field House

Houston Field House

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Houston Field House is a multi-purpose arena on the campus
Campus
A campus is traditionally the land on which a college or university and related institutional buildings are situated. Usually a campus includes libraries, lecture halls, residence halls and park-like settings...

 of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Stephen Van Rensselaer established the Rensselaer School on November 5, 1824 with a letter to the Rev. Dr. Samuel Blatchford, in which van Rensselaer asked Blatchford to serve as the first president. Within the letter he set down several orders of business. He appointed Amos Eaton as the school's...

 (RPI) in Troy, New York
Troy, New York
Troy is a city in the US State of New York and the seat of Rensselaer County. Troy is located on the western edge of Rensselaer County and on the eastern bank of the Hudson River. Troy has close ties to the nearby cities of Albany and Schenectady, forming a region popularly called the Capital...

. It is the second oldest arena in the ECAC Hockey League
ECAC Hockey League
ECAC Hockey is one of the five NCAA Men's Division I Ice Hockey conferences that compete in NCAA Division I ice hockey. The conference used to be affiliated with the Eastern College Athletic Conference, a consortium of over 300 colleges in the eastern United States. This relationship ended in...

 behind Princeton University
Princeton University
Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....

's Hobey Baker Memorial Rink
Hobey Baker Memorial Rink
Hobey Baker Memorial Rink is a 2,092-seat hockey arena in Princeton, New Jersey. It is home to the Princeton University Tigers men's and women's ice hockey teams as well as the venue for club and intramural hockey teams, intramural broomball, figure skating and recreational skating. It is the only...

.It is also the nations third oldest hockey rink behind Northeasterns Matthews Arena and Princeton University's Hobey Baker Arena. Until the opening of the Times Union Center in Albany
Albany, New York
Albany is the capital city of the U.S. state of New York, the seat of Albany County, and the central city of New York's Capital District. Roughly north of New York City, Albany sits on the west bank of the Hudson River, about south of its confluence with the Mohawk River...

 in 1990, it was the largest arena in the Capital Region
Capital District
New York's Capital District, also known as the Capital Region, is a region in upstate New York that generally refers to the four counties surrounding Albany, the capital of the state: Albany County, Schenectady County, Rensselaer County, and Saratoga County...

.

Origins


Popular legend holds that Houston Field House was previously an airplane
Aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

 or dirigible
Airship
An airship or dirigible is a type of aerostat or "lighter-than-air aircraft" that can be steered and propelled through the air using rudders and propellers or other thrust mechanisms...

 hangar
Hangar
A hangar is a closed structure to hold aircraft or spacecraft in protective storage. Most hangars are built of metal, but other materials such as wood and concrete are also sometimes used...

 for the United States armed forces
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. In reality, it originated as a warehouse
Warehouse
A warehouse is a commercial building for storage of goods. Warehouses are used by manufacturers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, transport businesses, customs, etc. They are usually large plain buildings in industrial areas of cities and towns. They usually have loading docks to load and unload...

 for the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 in Davisville, Rhode Island.

Following the war, the federal government
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 established the Veterans Education Facilities Program (VEFP) to help colleges build facilities to handle the increased enrollment of veterans returning from the war. One aspect of the VEFP was to offer buildings designated as "war surplus" to colleges and academic institutions who applied for them.

Originally, the RPI Board of Trustees, led by then-RPI President Dr. Livingston W. Houston, sought a hangar from the VEFP in order to establish a "sports-civic arena" for the RPI campus and the city of Troy. Unfortunately, hangars were not considered "war surplus." An investigation sponsored by the Board of Trustees discovered the warehouse facility in Rhode Island
Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

 and applied under the VEFP to bring it to campus, despite the fact that its original design was not satisfactory for the creation of an arena.

The VEFP underwrote both the cost of transporting the warehouse from Davisville to Troy and the cost to reassemble it upon its arrival. RPI, however, spent nearly $500,000 on its own to redesign the warehouse to its own specifications, including the re-fabrication of initial materials and the purchase of new materials.

Construction was originally planned to be completed by June 1948, however, inclement weather throughout the project pushed completion back 16 months to October 1949. On October 13, Houston officially opened the building as the RPI Field House as part of a ceremony honoring the Institute's 125th anniversary.

Early history


A month later, on November 12, 1949, the RPI Field House hosted its first event, an Interfraternity Ball, with music performed by Elliot Lawrence and his Orchestra. On December 3, 1949, the first sporting event in the Field House's history took place as RPI defeated the New York State Maritime Academy
State University of New York Maritime College
SUNY Maritime College is a maritime college located in the Bronx, New York City in historic Fort Schuyler on the Throggs Neck peninsula where the East River meets Long Island Sound...

 55-43 in basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

.

A large impetus for the construction of the Field House was to create a home for the school's ice hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

 team, which had played its first games in 1901 at Van Schaick Pond in nearby Cohoes, NY
Cohoes, New York
Cohoes is an incorporated city located at the northeast corner of Albany County in the US state of New York. It is called the "Spindle City" because of the importance of textile production to its growth. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 16,168...

, and later played in various other locations in Cohoes and Albany, NY
Albany, New York
Albany is the capital city of the U.S. state of New York, the seat of Albany County, and the central city of New York's Capital District. Roughly north of New York City, Albany sits on the west bank of the Hudson River, about south of its confluence with the Mohawk River...

. From 1912 to 1938 (with the exception of 1937), the team played on an outdoor rink built every winter on campus along Sage Avenue, at the current location of Anderson Field. After the 1938 season, the team went into hiatus. Houston, an RPI alumnus who played hockey for RPI during his school years, originally sought to build the Field House as a means of returning hockey to campus. On January 10, 1950, the "Engineers" under legendary head coach Ned Harkness
Ned Harkness
Nevin D. "Ned" Harkness was a successful NCAA head coach of ice hockey and lacrosse at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Cornell University and of ice hockey at Union College. Harkness was also head coach of the Detroit Red Wings and later was the team's general manager...

 played their first game at home since 1938, dropping an 8-2 contest to Middlebury
Middlebury College
Middlebury College is a private liberal arts college located in Middlebury, Vermont, USA. Founded in 1800, it is one of the oldest liberal arts colleges in the United States. Drawing 2,400 undergraduates from all 50 United States and over 70 countries, Middlebury offers 44 majors in the arts,...

. However, and possibly thanks largely in part to the construction of the Field House, Harkness would lead the Engineers to an NCAA championship
NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship
The annual NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship tournament determines the top men's ice hockey team in NCAA Division I and Division III. The semi-finals and finals of the Division I Championship are branded as the Frozen Four, a passing nod to the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship - known...

 only four years later in 1954.

Two weeks after the first hockey game, the RPI Field House hosted its first commencement
Graduation
Graduation is the action of receiving or conferring an academic degree or the ceremony that is sometimes associated, where students become Graduates. Before the graduation, candidates are referred to as Graduands. The date of graduation is often called degree day. The graduation itself is also...

 ceremony, on January 27, 1950. General Omar Bradley
Omar Bradley
Omar Nelson Bradley was a senior U.S. Army field commander in North Africa and Europe during World War II, and a General of the Army in the United States Army...

, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is by law the highest ranking military officer in the United States Armed Forces, and is the principal military adviser to the President of the United States, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council and the Secretary of Defense...

, gave the first commencement address.

On December 27, 1951, the Field House hosted the first annual RPI Invitational Tournament. The first tournament featured 8 schools playing 12 games over three days, and was won by Brown University
Brown University
Brown University is a private, Ivy League university located in Providence, Rhode Island, United States. Founded in 1764 prior to American independence from the British Empire as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations early in the reign of King George III ,...

. The following year, the tournament was cut to 4 teams playing a round-robin schedule over 3 days, which remained the tournament's format until 1982, when it gained a 2nd-day consolation game/championship game format. Today the RPI Invitational is the nation's oldest in-season invitational tournament in college hockey.

Throughout the 1950s, several RPI sporting events were held at the RPI Field House, including basketball, tennis
Tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

, wrestling
Collegiate wrestling
Collegiate wrestling, sometimes known in the United States as Folkstyle wrestling, is a style of amateur wrestling practised at the collegiate and university level in the United States. Collegiate wrestling emerged from the folk wrestling styles practised in the early history of the United States...

, and even pistol and rifle shooting.

In March 1959, the Field House hosted the NCAA
National Collegiate Athletic Association
The National Collegiate Athletic Association is a semi-voluntary association of 1,281 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals that organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States...

 tournament known today as the Frozen Four. North Dakota
University of North Dakota
The University of North Dakota is a public university in Grand Forks, North Dakota, USA. Established by the Dakota Territorial Assembly in 1883, six years before the establishment of the state of North Dakota, UND is the oldest and largest university in the state and enrolls over 14,000 students. ...

 won its first of several NCAA championships, defeating Michigan State
Michigan State University
Michigan State University is a public research university in East Lansing, Michigan, USA. Founded in 1855, it was the pioneer land-grant institution and served as a model for future land-grant colleges in the United States under the 1862 Morrill Act.MSU pioneered the studies of packaging,...

, Boston College
Boston College
Boston College is a private Jesuit research university located in the village of Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA. The main campus is bisected by the border between the cities of Boston and Newton. It has 9,200 full-time undergraduates and 4,000 graduate students. Its name reflects its early...

, and St. Lawrence
St. Lawrence University
St. Lawrence University is a four-year liberal arts college located in the village of Canton in Saint Lawrence County, New York, United States. It has roughly 2300 undergraduate and 100 graduate students, about equally split between male and female....

. Three of the tournament's four games went into overtime.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the RPI Field House was often referred to as "The Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden, often abbreviated as MSG and known colloquially as The Garden, is a multi-purpose indoor arena in the New York City borough of Manhattan and located at 8th Avenue, between 31st and 33rd Streets, situated on top of Pennsylvania Station.Opened on February 11, 1968, it is the...

 of Upstate New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

". In its first two decades, it played host to more than 300 theatrical and musical events, countless hockey games, and several commencement ceremonies.

Hockey Line


As the popularity of hockey grew, tickets became hot items among students. Owing to its origins as a military warehouse, most views were obstructed at least some angle between the rink and the seats due to large support columns that held up the Field House's roof. This led to the birth of what is known simply as "hockey line." Groups of people - usually members of various fraternities and sororities
Fraternities and sororities
Fraternities and sororities are fraternal social organizations for undergraduate students. In Latin, the term refers mainly to such organizations at colleges and universities in the United States, although it is also applied to analogous European groups also known as corporations...

 - take a place outside of the RPI Student Union
Student union
Student union may refer to:* Students' union, or student government in the U.S., a student organization at many colleges and universities dedicated to student governance...

 building. Traditionally, the line began sometime during late July or early August prior to the beginning of Fall classes and continued until tickets went on sale in mid-September. People in line are allowed to buy up to eight tickets and can have people hold their place in line while they eat or go to class. Students set up beds, couches, television sets, and, more recently, computers and video games to pass the time as someone occupies each place in line on a 24 hour basis.

Following the Engineers' 1985 national championship victory, the Epsilon Iota chapter of the Psi Upsilon
Psi Upsilon
Psi Upsilon is the fifth oldest college fraternity in the United States, founded at Union College in 1833. It has chapters at colleges and universities throughout North America. For most of its history, Psi Upsilon, like most social fraternities, limited its membership to men only...

 fraternity set a hockey line record by beginning the line on the very next day - March 31, 1985 - and continuing the line through the summer until tickets went on sale on September 25, 1985 — besting the previous record of 33 days with 178 days.

Renovation and rejuvenation


In 1978, a new tradition started that continues today - the annual Big Red Freakout! event. This event fills the Field House with thousands of screaming fans, and there is a giveaway each year.

Following Houston's death later that year, the Institute announced at the 1978 Commencement ceremonies that the RPI Field House would be known as Houston Field House in honor of Livingston W. Houston
Livingston W. Houston
Livingston Waddell Houston was the eleventh president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He was born in 1891 in Wyoming, Ohio. He graduated from Rensselaer in 1913 with a degree in mechanical engineering and was a member of the engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi His first job out of school...

, president of RPI from 1943 to 1958.

1983 brought several changes to the Field House. The Institute spent $2.5 million to renovate the building during the summer, including a support renovation which allowed the removal of all but four of the columns. Some think the view obstruction caused by the original columns gave rise to "hockey line" and that column removal led to the demise of "hockey line", but popularity of hockey was at least as large a factor. Indeed, "hockey line" reached its peak several years after the 1983 renovations. New scoreboards were installed, and the ice surface was lengthened to a full NHL size. In 1984, the NCAA tournament returned to Houston Field House for the first time since 1959 as the Engineers took on North Dakota. The Fighting Sioux, coming in as heavy underdogs, upset the homestanding Engineers on consecutive nights, ending the Engineers national title hopes. The next season, the Field House would host its final two NCAA tournament games as RPI dispatched Lake Superior State
Lake Superior State University
Lake Superior State University is a small public university in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. It is Michigan's smallest public university with an enrollment around 3,000 students. Due to its proximity to the border, notably the twin city of Sault Ste...

 on their way to their second NCAA championship. Today's NCAA tournament games all take place at neutral ice sites with a minimum capacity higher than that of the Field House.

During the mid-1980s, Houston Field House was part of a vibrant boxing
Boxing
Boxing, also called pugilism, is a combat sport in which two people fight each other using their fists. Boxing is supervised by a referee over a series of between one to three minute intervals called rounds...

 scene in the Capital District. Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson
Michael Gerard "Mike" Tyson is a retired American boxer. Tyson is a former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world and holds the record as the youngest boxer to win the WBC, WBA and IBF world heavyweight titles, he was 20 years, 4 months and 22 days old...

 fought twice at the venue in 1986, but Tyson's rise to the heavyweight championship at the end of the year helped lead to a decline, and boxing has not been featured at Houston Field House in recent years.

The 1987 Big Red Freakout! event featured plastic horns as the giveaway. These horns made Houston Field House reverberate with noise - so much noise, in fact, that the evening's opponent, Brown, filed a complaint with the NCAA. In turn, this led to the creation of what is today known as "the RPI rule" nationwide, which prohibits fans from bringing artificial noisemakers into NCAA events.

In 1990, the New York Islanders
New York Islanders
The New York Islanders are a professional ice hockey team based in Uniondale, New York. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League...

 of the NHL moved their primary minor-league team to Houston Field House, naming them the Capital District Islanders. "CDI" played in the American Hockey League
American Hockey League
The American Hockey League is a 30-team professional ice hockey league based in the United States and Canada that serves as the primary developmental circuit for the National Hockey League...

 from 1990 to 1993. In 1993, the Capital District Islanders were sold to Albert Lawerence and moved across the river the play at the Knick/Pepsi/Times Union Center as the Albany River Rats. The team affiliated with the New Jersey Devils.

The RPI women's hockey team, a club team beginning in 1976, hosted the AWCHA national women's club championship at Houston Field House in 1994, winning the national championship, and in 1995, when they finished in 3rd. The team became a varsity program later that year, and joined their male counterparts in NCAA's Division I in 2005.

During the 1998-1999 hockey season, a new four-sided scoreboard was added to the center of the Field House, replacing the scoreboards on the eastern and western walls.

Houston Field House today


Today, the Houston Field House seats 4,780 for hockey games, and remains the largest capacity in the ECAC Hockey League
ECAC Hockey League
ECAC Hockey is one of the five NCAA Men's Division I Ice Hockey conferences that compete in NCAA Division I ice hockey. The conference used to be affiliated with the Eastern College Athletic Conference, a consortium of over 300 colleges in the eastern United States. This relationship ended in...

 despite a decrease from its capacity of 5,217 in 2008. Its modern function is primarily as a home for the RPI men's and women's hockey teams to compete and practice, though several skating clubs also call the Field House home. The Capital District Selects of the Eastern Junior Hockey League (EJHL) also practice and compete at Houston Field House.

Houston Field House also hosts two to three concerts every year. Before the opening of the Times Union Center in Albany it was the Capital District's main venue for concerts. Recent guests have included The Offspring
The Offspring
The Offspring is an American punk rock band from Huntington Beach, California, formed in 1984. Known as Manic Subsidal until 1986, the band consists of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Dexter Holland, lead guitarist Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman, bassist Greg K. and drummer Pete Parada...

, Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers is an American rock band, formed in Los Angeles in 1983. The group's musical style primarily consists of rock with an emphasis on funk, as well as elements from other genres such as punk, hip hop and psychedelic rock...

, Marilyn Manson
Marilyn Manson (band)
Marilyn Manson is an American metal band from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Formed in 1989 by Brian Warner and Scott Putesky, the group was originally named Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids with their uniquely theatrical performances gathering a local cult following in the early '90s. This attention...

, Sting, Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...

, John Mayer
John Mayer (musician)
John Clayton Mayer is an American pop rock and blues rock musician, singer-songwriter, recording artist, and music producer. Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut and raised in Fairfield, Connecticut, he attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. He moved to Atlanta in 1997, where he refined his...

, moe.
Moe.
moe. is an American jam band, formed at the University at Buffalo in 1989. The band members are: Rob Derhak , Al Schnier , Chuck Garvey , Vinnie Amico , and Jim Loughlin ....

, Counting Crows
Counting Crows
Counting Crows is an American rock band originating from Berkeley, California. Formed in 1991, the group gained popularity following the release of its debut album in 1993, August and Everything After, which featured the hit single "Mr. Jones"...

, Matchbox Twenty
Matchbox Twenty
Matchbox Twenty is an American rock band, formed in Orlando, Florida in 1995...

, Guster
Guster
Guster is an American alternative rock band from Boston, Massachusetts. Formed in 1991, the group is known for its live performances and humor, founding members Adam Gardner, Ryan Miller, and Brian Rosenworcel came about to begin practice sessions while attending Tufts University in Medford,...

 & O.A.R.
Of a Revolution
O.A.R. is an American rock band composed of Marc Roberge , Chris Culos , Richard On , Benj Gershman , and Jerry DePizzo...

, among others.

Since the Field House's opening, the Institute has opened several other venues for athletic teams to play in, and today is used only by the hockey teams among the 21 other varsity sports offered at RPI. This decrease in activity allowed the Institute's intramural hockey program to utilize the Field House. Also, with the increase in enrollment, the Field House now no longer serves as the primary location for Commencement ceremonies. Today, the ceremonies are held at next-door Harkness Field. Houston Field House is considered the emergency venue, last holding ceremonies on May 18, 2002 when a freak overnight spring snowstorm forced the ceremony indoors from what had been planned to be Harkness Field's first ceremony. Rensselaer at Hartford alumnus Dennis Tito
Dennis Tito
Dennis Anthony Tito is an Italian American engineer and multimillionaire, most widely known as the first space tourist to fund his own trip into space. In mid-2001, he spent nearly eight days in orbit as a crew member of ISS EP-1, a visiting mission to the International Space Station...

 gave the commencement address. Ironically, what may have initially prompted moving commencement out of the Field House was its lack of air conditioning
Air conditioning
An air conditioner is a home appliance, system, or mechanism designed to dehumidify and extract heat from an area. The cooling is done using a simple refrigeration cycle...

, as the May, 1989 commencement was shortened because of the near-90 degree heat and stifling temperatures inside the arena.

Today's "hockey line" is a shadow of what it was during its heyday in the 1970s and 1980s. With the number of obstructed view seats now at a minimum, it is no longer necessary to stay on line for weeks to ensure good seats, and the men's hockey team is currently not as successful as it once was. When the Student Union itself was renovated in the late 1990s, the hockey line all but died completely. Today, the Tau Epsilon Phi
Tau Epsilon Phi
Tau Epsilon Phi is an American fraternity with 14 active chapters, chiefly located at universities and colleges on the East Coast of the United States...

 fraternity tends to start the line every year in early September, and most other fraternities and many dormatories join the line a day or two before tickets go on sale. When it was a more major local concert venue in the 1970s and 1980s, one would frequently see lines for those tickets as well. In a usual occurrence in 1985, tickets for a joint Night Ranger
Night Ranger
Night Ranger is an American rock band from San Francisco that gained popularity during the 1980s with a series of albums and singles. The band's first five albums sold more than 10 million copies worldwide...

/Jefferson Starship
Jefferson Starship
Jefferson Starship is an American rock band formed in the early 1970s. The group is a spin-off from the iconic 1960s psychedelic/folk group Jefferson Airplane. The band has undergone several major changes in personnel and genres through the years while retaining the same Jefferson Starship name...

 concert were to go on sale the morning after a Howard Jones
Howard Jones (musician)
Howard Jones is a musician, singer and songwriter. According to the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums, "Jones is an accomplished singer-songwriter who was a regular chart visitor in the mid 1980s with his brand of synthpop. Jones, who was equally popular in the U.S., appeared at Live...

 concert commenced, so many people attending the concert went on line right after to wait for the ticket booth to open. As Howard Jones left his concert, he noticed the fans waiting outside in the 35-degree cold and asked what was going on. To show support he offered to sign autographs for everyone on the line.

Notable features in the Field House today include the Rensselaer Alumni Association display at the entrance to the arena, which features RPI hockey players who have been named All-America
All-America
An All-America team is an honorary sports team composed of outstanding amateur players—those considered the best players of a specific season for each team position—who in turn are given the honorific "All-America" and typically referred to as "All-American athletes", or simply...

ns and those who have played in the NHL. On the eastern side of the Field House is a stage, upon which "America's Pep Band" plays during hockey games. On the western wall of the Field House, centered by the seal of the Institute, are six banners honoring the men's team's NCAA championships in 1954 and 1985, their ECAC championships in 1984, 1985 and 1995 and a banner honoring the women's club team's AWCHA national championship of 1994.

On November 5, 2004, RPI began its "Ring of Honor" at Houston Field House by unveiling a banner honoring Adam Oates
Adam Oates
Adam Oates is a retired professional ice hockey and lacrosse player and is currently an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils.-Playing career:Oates' break came when Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute offered him a scholarship...

 and his number 12. Oates' banner was joined on November 12, 2005 by one recognizing number 9, Joé Juneau
Joé Juneau
Joé Juneau is a retired Canadian professional hockey player and engineer, born in Pont-Rouge, Quebec. He played in the National Hockey League for the Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals, Buffalo Sabres, Ottawa Senators, Phoenix Coyotes and the Montreal Canadiens.-Playing career:Originally drafted...

. Legendary coach Ned Harkness
Ned Harkness
Nevin D. "Ned" Harkness was a successful NCAA head coach of ice hockey and lacrosse at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Cornell University and of ice hockey at Union College. Harkness was also head coach of the Detroit Red Wings and later was the team's general manager...

 and 1954 standout Frank Chiarelli have since been added to the Ring as well.

As part of a major campus improvement project to build the East Campus Athletic Village, the Houston Field House will undergo several renovations starting in 2007. These include the renovations of the locker rooms, addition of a new weight room, and a new special reception room dedicated to Ned Harkness. Additionally, as part of the renovations, solar panels were added installed on the roof to supply power to the building through a government grant.

External links