Gonzaga Trustees Approve Arena Construction

April 11, 2003

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Gonzaga University Board of Trustees on Friday gave its approval to begin construction on the new arena, which will be located directly east of the Martin Centre on the current site of August/A.R.T. Baseball Stadium.

The new arena will seat 6,000 people, and will become home to the Gonzaga men's and women's basketball teams. Also, it will accommodate various community events, such as concerts and speakers.

The $23 million facility is being funded through private contributions, Gonzaga men's basketball season ticket sales program that includes contributions to the Arena Building Partners Fund, corporate sponsorships and business agreements. Fund-raising efforts will continue through the construction phase, said Margot Stanfield, vice president for university relations. The university is still seeking private donations and corporate sponsorships to complete the project.

There are still good seats available in the new arena. To purchase season tickets, contact the Athletic Department office at (509) 323-4202.

Spokane-based Garco Construction Inc. is the principle contractor for this project. The arena design was done by ALSC Architects of Spokane in collaboration with Ellerbe Becket.

"Gonzaga basketball has not only put Gonzaga on the map, but it has highlighted Spokane to people all over the nation," said Gonzaga President Rev. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J. "Our players and our coaching staff have represented their team, their university and the city of Spokane well. Having a collegiate arena is the last piece of the recruiting puzzle we think we need to maintain a high-caliber intercollegiate basketball program. In addition, the arena will provide a wonderful community asset for entertainment opportunities, educational events and meetings."

Construction is expected to take approximately 18 months. The inaugural basketball season in the new arena is expected to be 2004-05. Gonzaga's baseball team will play the remainder of its 2003 games at Avista Stadium after concluding this weekend's home series. The university will reposition the baseball field on the site of the former U.S. Postal Annex. No timetable for construction of that stadium has been established.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the arena will be held at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, April 24 at the east end of Martin Centre. The public is invited to the event.



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