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Basketball to debut new center

By : Katie Ellis

President Lois B. DeFleur announced this week that BU menís and womenís basketball teams will begin playing in the $33.1 million Events Center, shown above, in late January. An exact opening date has not yet been determined. All home games will be played
The BU men's and women's basketball teams will begin playing in the $33.1 million Events Center in late January, well ahead of schedule, President Lois B. DeFleur announced this week. A specific date for the move will be made as work on Phase I of the facility nears completion. Until the move, all home games will be played in the West Gym.

"We are very enthusiastic about beginning to play basketball in the Events Center," said DeFleur. "We've had unprecedented cooperation between the State University Construction Fund, contractors and our Physical Facilities department to move this construction well ahead of schedule and open the building for basketball. Our excitement continues to build as we plan a formal opening for the spring."

The contractual date for completion of the multi-purpose facility is April. One of the first major events to be held in the facility will be Commencement in May.

Phase I work will bring the basketball courts, training rooms and locker rooms on line, as well as concessions, a media room, the box office, a gift shop and seating for 4,600. Phase II work, which will be ready for fall 2004, will see completion of strength and conditioning rooms, the remainder of the locker rooms, coaches' offices, the addition of portable north-end bleachers and some special box seating.

The 156,000-square-foot Events Center covers a little over an acre. At its highest point it reaches 65 feet, about the height of a six-story building. Its bowstring, steel-truss roof allows for an unobstructed view of events. The lowest level of the facility will feature a 200-meter track and a multi-purpose area that can be used for a number of activities including basketball.

The building was designed by Einhorn, Yaffee & Prescott Architects and Engineers, a New York City firm. The general contractor is Welliver McGuire Inc. of Elmira.

"We're very pleased to be able to move into the Events Center for the second half of our season," said Joel Thirer, director of health, physical education and athletics. "Our head basketball coaches, Al Walker and Rich Conover, are excited about playing in what we believe will be the premier facility in the America East Conference."

Season ticket renewals will be mailed next week, with season ticket sales for faculty and staff beginning September 26. Season tickets for new subscribers will go on sale beginning October 15. Information on how Events Center seating will be assigned will be included in the information packets, with the University continuing its use of a priority points system recognizing past support of University athletics to assign seats in the Events Center.

Information on season tickets can be obtained by calling the basketball box office at 777-SLAM (7526).
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Last Updated: 10/14/08