Chelmsford Forum is a 3,500-seat ice arena located in the heart of the Merrimack Valley in Northern Massachusetts. The rink has been operated by FMC Ice Sports for the past 20 years. The arena opened as the B. Joseph Tully Forum as a homage to the former Massachusetts State Senator. It has since taken on several other names, including the Billerica Forum and the Merrimack Valley Forum before switching to its current title.
Over the summer of 2009, the rink underwent major renovations, installing a new concrete slab beneath the rink. The Forum also made several improvements last summer to piping and other repairs bringing the building back up to code.
Located directly on the town line separating Billerica and Chelmsford, the seating area behind the net is actually divided between the two towns. The front door of the arena is in Billerica, while the Zamboni area is in the town of Chelmsford.
The rink has several unique features and accommodations inside. With very little lobby space, the IceBox cafe sits inside the rink behind the net and adjacent to the front door. Inside, there also rooms available for groups or gatherings — the hospitality room, the party room, and the conference room.
Arena manager, Lamont Berry, is in his second year with FMC Ice Sports. The Worcester native spent the past 18 years as an ice technician and operations supervisor at the DCU Center. Lamont is assisted by Facility Operator, Eric Hamer. The Chelmsford native has spent the past eight years working at the Forum, beginning as a part time skate guard and working his way up. Eric played hockey at the Forum during his days at Chelmsford High. Eric works closely with the Learn to Skate program, serving as an instructor and coach for the Adult Instruction Learn to Play hockey classes.
Chelmsford Forum serves as a home rink to high school and junior college hockey programs: Chelmsford High School, Nashoba Valley Technical High School, Lowell Catholic High School, and Middlesex Community College. During the Massachusetts high school postseason tournament, Chelmsford Forum is used as a site for playoff games in all divisions and the Super 8 Tournament which includes the ten-best teams in the state.
The Chelmsford High School team locker room was renovated in the fall of 2016. Brand new locker stalls were put in along with new floors and a state-of-the-art weight room.
In addition to several area teams, the arena also has events for groups like Girl Scouts of America and Megan’s House for Women. The rink is also available to host birthday parties and other private gatherings.
The rink was home to local NCAA Division I program UMass-Lowell from 1980-1998. The Riverhawks hosted several big games at the Forum, including the 1981 D-II National Championship against Plattsburgh State (NY). In 1983, UMass-Lowell made the transition from Division II to the D-I level while continuing to play at the Forum. The Riverhawks still hold practices at Chelmsford Forum on occasion.
You can find remnants of past Lowell teams underneath the bleachers directly inside the entrance doors. Written on the beams are numbers of old players marking the location for where old sticks used to be stored.
Along with being a historic hockey venue, Chelmsford Forum has also hosted several concerts over the years. The Grateful Dead played at the Forum in May of 1979. Talking Heads also held a show at the arena, performing in October of 1983.
The Boston Bruins have used Chelmsford Forum as the site for many of its Alumni Games, with legends like like Terry O’Reilly and Rick Middleton lacing up the skates there. Other local talents have also skated on the Chelmsford Forum ice including North Chelmsford resident and current Buffalo Sabres’ forward Jack Eichel. Former NHLers like Keith Aucoin, Dwayne Roloson, and Jon Morris have also played at the Forum.
With history around every corner, Chelmsford Forum is a terrific venue for hockey historians and family fun.
Sunday: 1:30-3:00 p.m.
Monday: 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Thursday: 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Friday: 1:00-2:30 p.m.; 8:30-10:00 p.m.