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Neumann University receives grant for construction of Ed Snider Ice Arena on campus in memory of former Flyers owner

Gathered around a rendering of the Ed Snider Ice Arena are Scott Tharp, president and CEO of Ed Snider Youth Hockey & Education, and Dr. Chris Domes, Neumann University president.

Neumann University has received a challenge grant of $15 million from Ed Snider Youth Hockey & Education to support the construction of the Ed Snider Ice Arena on campus. When the university matches the fundraising challenge, the SNIDER gift will be the largest that the university has ever received.

The grant was announced by Dr. Chris Domes, Neumann University president, and Scott Tharp, president and CEO of SNIDER, at an Oct. 25 event on Neumann’s campus. The arena will be named in memory of Ed Snider, the iconic entrepreneur and philanthropist who founded the Philadelphia Flyers.

“We are thrilled to be partners with Ed Snider Youth Hockey & Education, one of the most respected organizations in the country, and to honor the legacy of Philadelphia Flyers founder and chairman Ed Snider,” said Dr. Domes. “Given our mission alignment, a partnership with SNIDER will reimagine what is possible for underserved youth in our area.”

“This collaboration will further help us promote health, wellness, and leadership to more students through our programs, while also strengthening the academic, co-curricular, and experiential learning opportunities for SNIDER and Neumann University,” said Tharp.

Plans call for the university to continue raising funds for the next 1-2 years and begin construction of the arena no later than the spring of 2026.

The building will include two ice rinks, one serving as the home for Neumann’s ice hockey teams and another designated as the official home for SNIDER programming and outreach in Chester and Northern Delaware County. The rinks will have seating for 750 and 300 spectators, respectively.

Two classrooms and dedicated office space will support SNIDER’s educational programs in the arena. Since its founding in 2005, the organization has focused on education, teaching youngsters life lessons that support healthy, happy and productive lives.

Before his death in 2016, Snider said, “This is how I want people to remember me . . . this is what I want to be my legacy. What we’re doing for kids.”

Speaking via a video played at the announcement, Lindy Snider, daughter of Ed Snider and member of the SNIDER board of directors, said, “Even though he’s not here today, I think this would have delighted him … This partnership is the perfect marriage.”

The arena will also feature ten team locker rooms, training and treatment areas, kitchen and concession spaces, and a 7,000-square-foot lobby with tiered seating for campus and community presentations and meetings.

The structure will be located on the north end of Neumann’s campus, behind the turf field that sits next to homes on Convent Road.

Revenue generated by renting ice space to hockey clubs and organizations in the region will enhance Neumann’s ability to support its academic programs and provide scholarship assistance to students.

With the 2022-23 season, Neumann celebrated the 25th anniversary of its ice hockey program. In 2009, the men’s team won the NCAA Division III national championship, the university’s only NCAA title in any sport. The women’s ice hockey team began play in 2001, three years after the men.

Neumann and SNIDER have a long history of collaboration. In 2014, the university presented its Sport, Spirituality and Character Development Award to Snider Youth Hockey & Education. In 2020, through its Goals & Assists Scholarship Fund, SNIDER gave $500,000 to Neumann to support 100 full-scholarship years — including tuition, room, and board — for freshman and transfer students who participated in SNIDER programming as youngsters. As recently as March 30, 2023, SNIDER held its 2nd annual Fit to Lead Conference at Neumann, welcoming more than 200 high school and college student-athletes, coaches, and educators from across Southeastern PA to a free day of learning and inspiration.