New Gonzaga Arena Named McCarthey Athletic Center
March 3, 2004
SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University's new 6,000-seat arena under construction was officially named the McCarthey Athletic Center during post-game ceremonies Saturday night after Gonzaga's final men's basketball game in the Martin Centre, which had been home to the Bulldogs for 39 years.
Gonzaga President Rev. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., made the announcement. The McCarthey Athletic Center is named for the families of Gonzaga Trustee Philip G. McCarthey and Gonzaga Regent Thomas K. McCarthey, both of Salt Lake City. Tom is a 1973 Gonzaga alumnus and Phil is a 1974 alumnus. The McCartheys, who have long supported Gonzaga, gave a significant lead gift on the $23 million facility.
"Tom and Phil and their families embody the spirit of Gonzaga," said Rev. Spitzer. "Their gift to this new facility will have a huge impact on our students, on our fans and on the greater Spokane community."
"Gonzaga has given the McCathey families far more than we could ever give Gonzaga," said Phil McCarthey in accepting the thanks of the sold-out Martin Centre crowd Saturday.
"Gonzaga's people and its community spirit; those two things inspired us to give to this important project," Tom McCathey said.
"We have competed with the major programs on every other level," said basketball Coach Mark Few. "Now we'll have a tremendous college basketball venue, which will be a great place for our players to play, as well as an outstanding place for our fans to watch the Zags."
"Basketball has not only put Gonzaga on the map, but it has highlighted Spokane to people all over the nation," Rev. Spitzer said. "Having a true collegiate arena will enable the basketball team to maintain a high-caliber program, and continue the positive benefits this program has brought to the university. In addition, the McCarthey Athletic Center will provide a wonderful community asset for entertainment opportunities, educational events and meetings."
The project is due to be completed in November 2004, and Gonzaga men's and women's basketball teams will play the 2004-05 season in the new center. Thus far, Gonzaga has raised $18.5 million of the construction costs. Funding for the building has come from private donations, the GU men's basketball season ticket sales program that has included contributions to the Arena Building Partners Fund, corporate sponsorships and business agreements. Fund raising will continue until the building is completed.
The center is being built just east of the Martin Centre on the former site of the baseball field. ALSC Architects of Spokane and Ellerbe Becket of San Francisco designed the building. Garco Construction of Spokane is the contractor.
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