Fairfield University has unveiled a new multi-purpose on-campus arena called the Convocation Center. The 3,500-seat facility will serve as home for the Fairfield basketball and volleyball teams, as well as concerts, commencements, and other larger on-campus events.
“The two tiers of close-in seating bring everyone together for games, events, and convocation. The building will immerse visitors in the energy and vitality of the university.” Jim Childress, Centerbrook principal
Designed to be modern yet contextual, the estimated $45 million Convocation Center will provide a dramatic arrival with a transparent front entrance that reveals the building’s interior. Natural light enters from three sides of the arena through ample glass that complements the brick façade, which blends with the campus palate. The curved roof is a nod to the current Alumni Hall and many mid-century arenas.
In addition to the performance venue, the Convocation Center’s 85,000-square-feet will also house locker rooms, a theater-style film room, team lounge, training rooms, staff offices, and numerous back-of-house spaces.
The lower bowl will seat approximately 2,400, with 700 retractable to create greater floor area for team practices and flexibility for other events. The second deck will hold around 1,100 and is highlighted by The Stag Club, which offers premium seating and hospitality for 150.
The design provides unobstructed views from the concourse on both levels. Additional fan amenities include a center-hung LED video board, a ribbon video board lining the front of the second tier, chair-back seating, satellite concession stands, a beer garden, and a spirit shop.
“The new arena will be a versatile, dynamic, and contemporary space providing a much-anticipated upgrade in size, technology, and amenities.” Fairfield University President Mark R. Nemec, PhD.
The Convocation Center will replace the 2,500-seat Alumni Hall, which has played host to Fairfield athletics and campus events since 1959. Following its demolition, construction of the new facility is projected to commence in the spring of 2020 and span 18-24 months.