University officials and local dignitaries were on hand today for the public groundbreaking ceremony signaling the start of construction for the new $68 million state-of-the-art 5,200-seat Tiger Arena scheduled to open in 813 days.
"This new arena will be a premiere facility in our athletic conference," said interim president, Dr. Marcia Welsh. "It is long overdue."
Tiger Arena is the working name for the arena during construction. The venue will feature approximately five (5) premium mezzanine level private suites, approximately 340 premium loge club seats around the top of the lower bowl, and 120 courtside seats. The interior is column free, providing unobstructed views from anywhere in the arena.
The venue's construction history will be chronicled through the www.TigerArena.com website. Construction progress updates along with information for branding opportunities, corporate sponsorships plus the purchase of the private suites and club level seating are now available on the website.
"Towson University is already an important part of this community with over 25,000 students, faculty and staff who all contribute to the thriving businesses and vibrant culture of downtown Towson," said Baltimore County Executive, Kevin Kamenetz. "This arena is going to bring even more fans, more alumni, students and parents to this University and give us a chance to make them a part of the greater Towson community as well. While we'll have to wait a while to welcome those fans to this arena, we won't have to wait at all to see Tiger Arena's economic impact on Towson. As we break ground today we will be adding 400 construction jobs to this community. These jobs are going to help fuel the recovery that is happening all over our county."
Additional amenities to the LEEDS certified building include a 1500 sq. ft. hospitality room, a 680 sq. ft. multipurpose room on the mezzanine and an 800 sq. ft. Tiger Hall of Fame Room on the concourse level. A new state-of-the-art multimedia studio will also be constructed that will be the nerve center of all TIGERVISION video board operations for both the Arena and Johnny Unitas® Stadium. The new arena will feature a center-hung scoreboard along with a 360-degree video fascia display.
"About a half-mile away is the new college of liberal arts building that will serve as the heart and soul of Towson University's booming and increasingly recognized academic program," said David Nevins, Class of 1976 and former Regent. "On this side of campus Tiger Arena will usher in a new era as well in terms of Towson University's march to greatness. This building is responsible for the spirit of the campus; academics on that side, the spirit of the campus here."
The local design architect for Tiger Arena is Baltimore's Hord, Coplan, Macht, a firm in association with Sasaki Associates of Boston. Sasaki, equally known for its experience with athletic facilities, was involved in the master planning for the Beijing Olympics. Neoscape, a consultant to Sasaki, was drafted by the Boston company to produce the computer-generated, video animated flythrough tour. The Gilbane Building Company out of Laurel, Md. is the project's construction manager.
"It's going to be a spectacular showpiece for our volleyball, for our gymnastics and also for our basketball programs and really for the whole campus," said Director of Athletics, Mike Waddell. "It's a win, win."
Check www.TIGERARENA.com for updates as we continuously announce additional signature elements of this major construction project.