The University of New Hampshire is one step closer to transforming and expanding the training and support facilities in UNH’s Whittemore Center as part of the UNH Hockey Renovation Project following a $4 million gift from Anthony DiLorenzo ’87, owner of Key Auto Group. Additionally, the Whittemore Center, home of UNH men's and women's ice hockey, and the Hamel Recreation Center will now join together as the newly formed Key Auto Group Complex — a multi-purpose center located on the Durham campus.
Neither the Whittemore Center nor the Hamel Recreation Center will be changing their names, but will be known collectively as the Key Auto Group Complex.
DiLorenzo’s lead gift supplements $6 million in state funding included in the recently adopted state budget and brings the UNH Hockey Renovation Project closer to an eventual goal of $16 million toward improvements to the Whittemore Center at Key Auto Group Complex. This project is in addition to the nearly $14 million already invested by UNH in recent years to update the ice surface, audio/visual technology, part of the HVAC systems and make other facilities improvements.
“UNH has one of the best hockey programs in the country,” says Gov. Chris Sununu. “Investments in this facility — by UNH, the state, and generous private supporters like Anthony — will be critical to ensuring the University’s Division I teams are equipped with Division I facilities. This project is central to continue building the brand of the university, recruiting students and quality athletes and keeping the team a point of pride for us all for years to come.”
The upgraded arena will feature larger, more functional and accessible multi-use locker rooms for both men’s and women’s hockey, an expanded strength and conditioning space and new offices for coaches and administrative staff. The upgrade will also benefit other UNH teams using the facility including UNH field hockey and paralympic athletes that compete in sled hockey on UNH’s Northeast Passage team.
“As a longtime supporter of UNH Hockey, this is an exciting opportunity to help UNH Athletics and the university meet their goal to create a more competitive state-of-the-art complex that will attract and retain talented student-athletes, draw in more fans and benefit the entire community,” says DiLorenzo, owner of Key Auto Group. “I hope I inspire other corporate and individual donors to become a part of this project.”
DiLorenzo, who has been active with UNH Athletics as a corporate partner, is the owner and founder of Key Auto Group, which includes 12 new and used car dealerships and collision centers in New Hampshire and more than 20 other locations around the country. In addition to his automotive businesses, DiLorenzo invests and develops real estate and currently owns several Planet Fitness franchise locations in California.
“This beneficial donation is a significant investment in UNH Athletics and will impact our student-athletes by enhancing their overall experience and allowing them to strive for excellence and compete for conference championships and on a national stage,” says Allison Rich, UNH director of athletics.
For more information on how to support the UNH Hockey Renovation Project, contact the Athletics Development office at (603) 862-2592 or visit UNHWildcats.com/SupportTheWhitt.