A major facilities upgrade – focused on improving the visitor experience – and the construction of a Michigan State University Basketball Hall of History are on tap for the Breslin Student Events Center.
The MSU Board of Trustees today gave the university the go-ahead to proceed with the $50 million project. $30 million will be provided by the university and $20 million from MSU Athletics.
The work is scheduled to begin in January 2016, with substantial completion expected by August of 2017 and final completion by June 2018.
The university recently conducted a building assessment to identify critical repairs and maintenance, as well as ways in which the visitor experience could be improved.
From that assessment, it was determined that these improvements should be addressed: Expanding and improving concession areas and concourses; improving bathroom facilities; upgrading passenger and freight elevators; improving exterior entrances and parking lots; and replacing chiller and water connections.
The project also calls for the construction of a 26,000-square-foot addition that will house the MSU Basketball Hall of History. Located on the southeast side of the Breslin Center, the hall will utilize technology to highlight team and individual accomplishments of the men’s and women’s basketball programs. In addition, the technology will have the flexibility to be programmed for other university events.
The Draymond Green Strength and Conditioning Center, accessible from both auxiliary gyms on the mezzanine level, will be constructed below the Hall of History. That area also will include a locker room for former MSU student-athletes currently playing professional basketball to utilize for training during the offseason.
“The opportunity to be involved with a facility project that has a positive and direct impact on our student-athletes and the entire university community is exciting,” said MSU Athletics Director Mark Hollis. “While the Breslin Center project addresses a number of issues related to the building’s operations, it will greatly enhance the experience for those attending any of its events.
“The ability to showcase our university and basketball programs’ history will be one of the key and noticeable features once the project is complete. In addition, former and current student-athletes will have an opportunity to prepare in one of the nation’s finest basketball complexes.”
The Breslin Student Events Center, named in honor of long-time MSU administrator Jack Breslin, first opened its doors in 1989. Every year it hosts more than 200 events, productions, conferences and meetings, as well as serving as home to the MSU men’s and women’s basketball teams.
MSU men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo:
“The Hall of History will be an amazing addition to the Breslin Center. Michigan State has a rich basketball tradition and this will be the perfect way in which to display it to Spartan fans, alumni, and recruits. The technology involved will allow for great flexibility and ensure that the displays are current. The Breslin Center is already one of the great home court advantages in college basketball, and this will only serve to improve the overall fan experience. The Draymond Green Strength and Conditioning Center and the new one-of-a-kind locker room for Spartan pros are also great additions and signs of our commitment to our student-athletes both during their time at Michigan State and even once they move on in life. They will always have a home at MSU.
“I can’t commend Greg Ianni enough for the work he’s put into this project. Under his direction, there have been several outstanding facility additions throughout the department. But I believe with this project, he might have outdone himself.
“What excites me about these renovations is that there really is something for everyone. Jaws will drop when fans enter the Hall of History. Current student-athletes will benefit from the new weight room. Former players will enjoy a locker room reserved just for them. And the entire package should really excite recruits.
“I can’t wait to see the finished product.”
MSU women’s basketball coach Suzy Merchant:
“First and foremost, I’d like to extend my appreciation for Coach Izzo’s vision and plan for improvement for both programs. There’s no question that the addition of some of these enhancements will have a direct impact on MSU basketball. It’s exciting to know that the Hall of History will be the first thing that people will have the opportunity to experience, especially with all the success of both basketball teams. The addition of the weight room for our student-athletes, as well as the recruiting room that will overlook the concourse into Breslin, will give both programs the opportunity to continue to recruit the highest level of student-athlete. Recruiting is constantly changing, and it is important to stay connected with what is out there in terms of where we are and where we need to go as a program. I’m really excited about the future improvements to the Breslin Center as they will continue to help MSU basketball succeed at such a high level.”