New Gonzaga Arena: Greenlighted!

On April 11, 2003, Gonzaga's Board of Trustees sent Gonzaga University in general and the Bulldogs basketball program in particular into the new millenium with an approval for a new Kennel, a state-of-the-art arena.

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.

The same team of developers that built the highly-regarded Spokane Veterans Arena will build this arena. It will be similar inside, except it will be basketball-specific with much steeper seating for that "Kennel Advantage."

"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."

The exterior will incorporate red brick to match the nearby Law School and Foley Library.

Construction is expected to take approximately 18 months. The inaugural basketball season in the new arena is expected to be 2004-05.

Groundbreaking ceremonies 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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