Bulldogs Break Ground For New Arena

April 24, 2003

SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University officially broke ground Thursday on the site for the new Arena that the Bulldogs' men's and women's basketball teams will call home beginning with the 2004-05 season.

University officials, coaches and dignitaries aplenty turned dirt on the site of the former August/A.R.T. Stadium that housed Gonzaga's baseball stadium.

"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, and continue the positive benefits this program has brought to the university in terms of enrollment, merchandise sales and national recognition. In addition, the arena will provide a wonderful community asset for entertainment opportunities, educational events and meetings."

The arena will be named for the McCarthey family of Salt Lake City, which provided "a most significant" lead gift, said Father Spitzer. Philip G. McCarthey is a Gonzaga trustee and Thomas K. McCarthey is a Gonzaga regent. Both graduated from Gonzaga, Tom in 1973, Phil in 1974. Several other family members have attended Gonzaga. The formal name of the facility will be announced at a later date.

Gonzaga's Board of Trustees approved the commencement of construction at its April 11 meeting. Construction is expected to take 18 months.

Gonzaga has raised $16.9 million of the $23 million project. Funding sources include private contributions, GU 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. The arena will seat 6,000 people. Gonzaga has sold about 3,000 basketball season tickets. About 1,000 season tickets remain. GU will allocate 1,500 seats to students and hold another 500 for game-day needs including requirements of visiting teams.

The 30-minute groundbreaking ceremony was emceed by Gonzaga athletic director Mike Roth, and included comments from men's and women's basketball coaches Mark Few and Kelly Graves, Father Spitzer, and Trustees' Vice Chair Mike Patterson. Working the shovels were Few, Spitzer, Patterson, Graves, arena fund-raising Chair John Stone and Vice Chair Bob Hamacher, Tom and Phil McCarthey, Zag basketball players Sean Mallon from Ferris High and Juliann Laney from Gonzaga Prep, Kennel Club member Jill O'Brien, and the Bulldog mascot Spike. Renderings of the new arena were also on display at the event.

Team members from the Gonzaga men's and women's basketball teams, cheerleaders, members of the Kennel Club and the pep band also added to the festive atmosphere. A reception in The Kennel, the current home of Bulldog basketball, immediately followed the ceremony.

Project contractor is Garco Construction, Spokane. ALSC Architects of Spokane has handled the design of the new building, along with Ellerbe Becket. Project Manager Steve LaRue also attended the groundbreaking ceremony representing Garco. ALSC President Steve Hindley represented the architects. Bill Crockett from Ellerbe Becket was also present.

Gonzaga will relocate the baseball field on the site of the former U.S. Postal Annex at the corner of Trent and Cincinnati streets. No timetable for construction of that stadium has been established.

Arena Facts and Figures

Garco Construction, the principal contractor, offers the following estimates for the new Gonzaga arena project:

1,225 tons of structural steel and roof joists for the roof and concourse

4,000 cubic yards of concrete for footings, slabs and walls

158 pieces of precast for the seat risers, which represent 24,570 square feet

6,000 seats with chair backs

6 main roof trusses will create 200-foot clear span over the arena bowl

6 concession stands with 32 points of sale

4 men's restrooms with a total of 32 fixtures on the concourse level

4 women's restrooms (total 40 fixtures) on concourse level

Brick exterior, CMU block, pre-cast concrete, curtain wall glass system, translucent glass panels, louvers and metal panels.

Roof will be a single-ply membrane

 

 

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