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The Grand Canyon University Arena (GCU Arena) is a 7,000-seat, 135,000-square-foot (12,500 m2) multi-purpose entertainment and athletics facility in Phoenix, Arizona that is owned and operated by Grand Canyon University. The arena is the home of Grand Canyon University Lopes men's and women's basketball teams and other athletic events.[2] The arena's passionate student section, known as the "GCU Havocs", has gained national attention as one of the best collegiate student sections.[3]

Grand Canyon University Arena
GCU Arena
Grand Canyon University Arena - Dusk.jpg
The Grand Canyon University Arena at dusk.
Location3300 West Camelback Road
Phoenix, Arizona 85017
Coordinates33°30′37″N 112°07′44″W / 33.510152°N 112.128884°W / 33.510152; -112.128884Coordinates: 33°30′37″N 112°07′44″W / 33.510152°N 112.128884°W / 33.510152; -112.128884
OwnerGrand Canyon University Education Inc.
OperatorGrand Canyon University Education Inc.
Capacity7,000
Construction
Broke groundJune 25, 2010
OpenedSeptember 1, 2011
Architect360 Architecture
Architekton
Structural engineerParagon Structural Design
Services engineerHenderson Engineers[1]
General contractorPerini Building Company
Tenants
Grand Canyon Antelopes men's & women's basketball
Website
www.gcuarena.com

HistoryEdit

The Grand Canyon University Arena officially opened its doors on September 2, 2011, just 15 months after the University announced the project.[4] The construction of the arena was part of the University's $200 million campus expansion and growth. It will regularly host Christian and secular concerts, outside performances, speaking engagements, Grand Canyon University athletic events, and commencement ceremonies.[5]

In addition to the arena, the university is in the process of upgrading the athletics facilities,[6] building new classroom space,[7] dormitories, and other educational facilities on campus.[8][9]

Sports teams and other eventsEdit

The GCU Arena is home to Grand Canyon University's Lopes men’s and women’s basketball.[10]

GCU plays host to Christian and secular concerts, outside performances, speaking engagements, athletic events, and commencement ceremonies. Previous acts include: Casting Crowns, David Crowder Band, M-1 Global Challenge, Switchfoot, Pandora’s Unforgettable Moments on Ice featuring David Archuleta and Mannheim Steamroller, Lady Antebellum, and Third Day. In 2017 it hosted the ESPN/Intersport-produced College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championship leading up to that year's Final Four at Glendale's University of Phoenix Stadium.

On October 14, 2012, the arena hosted TNA Wrestling's 8th annual premier pay-per-view of the year, Bound for Glory.[11]

Facility informationEdit

 
Inside of Grand Canyon University Arena, one hour prior to a men's basketball game.

There are 7,000 seats in the 135,000-square-foot arena. There are also five concession stands (including three pizza ovens), 17 restrooms, four locker rooms, two escalators, two elevators, two grand staircases and a total of four high definition video boards and one high resolution digital ribbon board. [12] The state-of-the-art video boards were installed by Atlanta-based Innovation Sports Marketing. [13] The main video board measures 15 feet tall by 35 feet wide and weighs around three tons.

Design for the facility was done by 360 Architecture and Tempe-based Architekton. [14] When construction of the arena was complete there were a total of 255,000 man hours, 8,870 yards of concrete, 41,000 bricks, 793 tons of structural steel, 75 miles of electrical wiring, and 2,300 light fixtures.

Notable features include large windows providing natural light, ceiling beams signed by GCU employees and students, a vault of Bibles buried at center court and an outdoor balcony with views of the Camelback Road campus.[15] There are only 42 steps from event level to concourse level to ensure that every seat in the arena is a good one.

ExpansionEdit

Just over three years after opening, GCU Arena closed on March 3, 2014 to undergo a massive remodel. With the quicker than anticipated jump to Division I athletics for the Grand Canyon Antelopes athletic programs, the school announced the expansion of the arena from a capacity of 5,000 to 7,000 seats. The growth of the arena was primarily intended to incorporate adequate seating for the men's basketball games and for larger concerts.

Arizona sports icon Jerry Colangelo, who is closely connected with the athletic program, was involved in the expansion process, stating: "If GCU knew when the building went up just a couple of years ago that they would be in Division I as quickly as we have, it would have been built bigger." [16]

After a proposed finish date of October 17, the Arena opened nearly six weeks ahead of schedule on August 23 for a Switchfoot concert as a part of the school's 2014 Welcome Weekend. Final changes included an upper-deck seating area, a movable track for the high definition video display, and a new basketball floor.[17]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Sports/Recreation". Henderson Engineers. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
  2. ^ Gonzales, Angela (June 25, 2010). "Grand Canyon University Breaks Ground on Events Center". Phoenix Business Journal. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  3. ^ Sandritter, Mark (January 9, 2016). "The student section at Grand Canyon University is the biggest party in college basketball". Retrieved March 19, 2016.
  4. ^ "A Year's Wait Is Over: Welcome, GCU Arena!". GCU Today. September 2, 2011. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  5. ^ Masley, Ed (August 26, 2011). "GCU Arena Bringing Christian-Friendly Shows to Phoenix". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  6. ^ Christenburry, Amber (October 4, 2011). "New Track to Benefit Athletes and Others on Campus". GCU Today. Archived from the original on October 6, 2011. Retrieved November 30, 2012.
  7. ^ Carroll, Doug (October 18, 2011). "Formal Groundbreaking for New CAS Building". GCU Today. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  8. ^ Ye Hee Lee, Michelle (June 26, 2010). "Grand Canyon University Breaks Ground on Event Center". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  9. ^ "Privacy Policy". Grand Canyon University. June 19, 2008. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  10. ^ "About". Grand Canyon University. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
  11. ^ "TNA's Bound For Glory PPV Is Coming To Phoenix, Arizona On October 14". Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. July 5, 2012. Retrieved July 5, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Arena Facts" (PDF). Grand Canyon University. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 28, 2012. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  13. ^ "Innovation Sports Marketing". Innovation Sports Marketing. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  14. ^ "Grand Canyon University Arena". Architekton. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
  15. ^ Carroll, Doug (May 5, 2011). "Bible Buried in Arena Center Court Ceremony". GCU Today. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  16. ^ http://ktar.com/22/1685113/GCU-to-expand-seating-at-new-arena
  17. ^ http://news.gcu.edu/2014/08/done-expanded-arena-ready-unveiled/

External linksEdit