Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Funding secured for new Sacramento State event center

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Funding has been approved for Sacramento State to create an events center that will be home for the University’s men’s and women’s basketball teams, women’s volleyball and gymnastics teams, and intramural and club sports competitions. It also will be a venue for entertainment, arts and guest speakers.

The event center is expected to be completed and begin hosting events in the fall 2024.

The facility is part of President Luke Wood’s vision to better serve the campus community and to bring the Sacramento regional community onto campus.

“I’m grateful that the Union WELL board supported our vision to position our University to better support student intercollegiate athletics, club sports, and recreation sports, and arts and culture.” — President Luke Wood

Members of the Board of Directors for Union WELL Inc., the nonprofit organization that oversees the University Union and The WELL fitness and health facility, on Nov. 15 unanimously approved a resolution to provide up to $5.2 million from reserves for the project. That money is expected to cover initial estimated expenses for the project. Sacramento State is paying for project design, projected to cost $300,000.

On Nov. 9, Associated Students Inc. (ASI), the University’s student governing body, passed a resolution favoring the project. That action followed ASI receiving a letter from Wood championing his plan to pursue the event center project.

“The (Union WELL) board’s decision demonstrates that we are on the rise,” Wood said. “Sacramento State is the only public university in the capital of the state with the fifth-largest economy in the world, and we are acting like it.

“I’m grateful that the Union WELL board supported our vision to position our University to better support student intercollegiate athletics, club sports, and recreation sports, and arts and culture.”

The project will provide another use for existing space that holds four courts that host recreational and intramural sports. Those courts and their recreational use will remain, but they will be flanked by seating that can be rolled out to and retracted to accommodate larger anticipated crowds for NCAA competition. Seating capacity remains to be determined. New lighting, scoreboards and video boards, and public address system will be added.

The University is partnering with Otto Construction and LPAS Architecture + Design for the design and construction of the facility.

Director of Athletics Mark Orr called the Union WELL Inc. board’s funding decision “a significant step toward achieving the goal of having a new events center on campus.”

“We are grateful for the vision of President Wood and to collaborate with terrific campus partners in ASI and the Union WELL,” Orr said. “This venue will not only benefit Hornet student-athletes, it will provide a space for all students to come together as a community and engage in events that will enhance their college experience.”

About Brian Blomster

Brian Blomster, Sac State’s director of News and Communications, previously was a writer/editor/online editor for the Sacramento Bee and other news organizations, and also was publications director for a Sacramento nonprofit. Family, fishing, music, baseball and cooking are among his passions.

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