The long awaited 30m Practice Facility for men's and women's basketball

mkaufman1

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GIVING DAY 2023
At the Mason Men's Basketball mix and mingle event last night, the long awaited 30m men's and women's basketball facility was announced.

The plan is for it to be completed in Fall 2024 and some of the features include:

  • Additional Practice Court
  • State of the art Academic Center
  • Barbershop
  • Men’s & Women’s Basketball Locker Rooms
  • Players Lounge
  • Coaches Offices
  • Weight Room and Athletic Training Room
  • Rest and Recovery rooms with Sleep Pods
Overall this is great news for the men's and women's basketball programs and something sorely needed. As we all know, phase 1 was completed several years ago and it went very quiet on the facility phase 2 until about 6 months ago even though there were no plans formally announced.

Very glad that Marvin was able to get this out in the public eye for this season even being relatively new to the position. This also signals that Mason is serious about basketball and trying to compete with other mid and high majors in terms of facilities.

Before anyone says it, no there isn't a hall of fame announced as part of this plan. HOWEVER, it would make a LOT of sense to have some sort of area commemorating championships, the Final Four, player awards, etc. I will try to find out if that is also part of the plan.
 

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EXpatriot13

All-Conference
GIVING DAY 2023
Where on campus will it be built?
Adding onto the RAC, extending off the area where their existing practice courts are.

Man, this has been the one project I’ve been hot and bothered by for years. I’m so pumped the new admin is getting this done, and even more so, it’s clear Marvin saw this as a priority to announce and get done early in his tenure. Also goes to show that Brad was prob checked out and just going thru the motions for awhile, he could have partnered with the admin to get this done if he really wanted to.

This is going to be huge for both programs, immediately positioning ourselves near the top of the conference in terms of basketball facilities. Not only a positive for recruiting but also retention of existing players, and gives the staff state of the art tools for preparation and recovery.
 

EXpatriot13

All-Conference
GIVING DAY 2023
I think I prefer this than attaching it to EBA. Allows more flexibility to the question “what do we do about our arena?”
I’d be surprised if attaching it to EBA was a serious consideration, at least since they upgraded/built out the existing practice courts they use at the RAC. That project would become a sunk investment if they pivoted to EBA now.

I’m not even going to pretend to know what they should do about plans for EBA. Maybe if we start having more seasons like 2011 vs. what we’ve been since, the question will answer itself.
 
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mkaufman1

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GIVING DAY 2023
My hope is that while this project was priority (and hopefully another project or two) are coming sooner than later (maybe that Athletic Village we've heard rumblings about for years), the brainstorming for EBA is already starting. There has to be some unfinished ideas from the studies that were done 10 years ago when Brad first started.
 

Verdad

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I’d be surprised if attaching it to EBA was a serious consideration, at least since they upgraded/built out the existing practice courts they use at the RAC. That project would become a sunk investment if they pivoted to EBA now.

I’m not even going to pretend to know what they should do about plans for EBA. Maybe if we start having more seasons like 2011 vs. what we’ve been since, the question will answer itself.
The answer is either 1) a drastic remodel to EBA which would likely close the building for a significant amount of time, would require a temporary location for at least one season, be abhorrently expensive to retrofit into a modern facility and reduce capacity for non-basketball events; or 2) eventually build a new facility like ODU's (about 7K capacity, has suites/club level and still ability to host non-basketball events - other sports and non-sports).

Anything else are just half measures.

Just a question of when a new facility could ever be built - no inside info, just my slightly educated guess.
 
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mkaufman1

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The answer is either 1) a drastic remodel to EBA which would likely close the building for a significant amount of time, would require a temporary location for at least one season, be abhorrently expensive to retrofit into a modern facility and reduce capacity for non-basketball events; or 2) eventually build a new facility like ODU's (about 7K capacity, has suites/club level and still ability to host non-basketball events - other sports and non-sports).

Anything else are just half measures.

Just a question of when a new facility could ever be built - no inside info, just my slightly educated guess.
If Mason is smart, and this athletic village is actually legit, maybe they look to add a basketball sized arena next to all the facility stuff they are building out. Make it more of a supplemental arena vs main arena.

No idea if this is possible.
 

gmujim92

Hall of Famer
GIVING DAY 2023
If Mason is smart, and this athletic village is actually legit, maybe they look to add a basketball sized arena next to all the facility stuff they are building out. Make it more of a supplemental arena vs main arena.

No idea if this is possible.
Can’t see why it wouldn’t be. EBA still has its usefulness as a revenue-driver for larger events, but having a more appropriately sized arena for basketball would greatly enhance the overall customer experience and homecourt advantage for our teams.

If the program gets back to winning consistently and demand for tickets increases, that’s a good thing.
 
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mkaufman1

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Can’t see why it wouldn’t be. EBA still has its usefulness as a revenue-driver for larger events, but having a more appropriately sized arena for basketball would greatly enhance the overall customer experience and homecourt advantage for our teams.

If the program gets back to winning consistently and demand for tickets increases, that’s a good thing.
Yes true- but from my understanding, EBA isn't as busy as it used to be. Some of that is because of other newer arenas in the area opening up in the same size range with lots of bells and whistles.

Taking away basketball might make it that much worse. No idea what could transpire there, but if basketball is going to be the forefront and focus , thats what where the action and improvements have to be.
 

Verdad

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Yes true- but from my understanding, EBA isn't as busy as it used to be. Some of that is because of other newer arenas in the area opening up in the same size range with lots of bells and whistles.

Taking away basketball might make it that much worse. No idea what could transpire there, but if basketball is going to be the forefront and focus , thats what where the action and improvements have to be.
If EBA is losing out to other nicer facilities, all the more reason for a small/nicer venue that can compete with Cap1 and others. All just a question of $ - plenty of space to get done what needs to be done, still tons of parking areas that can be converted into garages to create additional square footage/acreage.

Maybe EBA can be retro-fitted in a cost effective way vs building new arena - no idea.
 
Yes true- but from my understanding, EBA isn't as busy as it used to be. Some of that is because of other newer arenas in the area opening up in the same size range with lots of bells and whistles.

Taking away basketball might make it that much worse. No idea what could transpire there, but if basketball is going to be the forefront and focus , thats what where the action and improvements have to be.
My opinion stays to what its always been- Mason's priority should be building a new barn that is smaller capacity, has an ice rink and can do small concerts.
 

gmujim92

Hall of Famer
GIVING DAY 2023
If EBA is losing out to other nicer facilities, all the more reason for a small/nicer venue that can compete with Cap1 and others. All just a question of $ - plenty of space to get done what needs to be done, still tons of parking areas that can be converted into garages to create additional square footage/acreage.

Maybe EBA can be retro-fitted in a cost effective way vs building new arena - no idea.
Renovating is exceedingly expensive — for a 40-year-old building gotta believe the long-term ROI leans heavily toward replacement.
 

Walter

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I’m so pumped the new admin is getting this done, and even more so, it’s clear Marvin saw this as a priority to announce and get done early in his tenure. Also goes to show that Brad was prob checked out and just going thru the motions for awhile, he could have partnered with the admin to get this done if he really wanted to.
If true that the new AD was able to find the financing to get this done, then, yes, I am impressed. My guess is that this had already been a done deal and they were just waiting for the right time to announce. I hope I am wrong, because new AD could get the "Big Balls Marvin" title if true.
 

EXpatriot13

All-Conference
GIVING DAY 2023
Once there are more details/design mocks (probably exist already) the sponsorship team should be hitting the pavement selling naming rights/partnerships to businesses in Northern Virginia. Just examples....

Inova Health | Center for George Mason Basketball
Strength & Wellness Wing powered by LifeTime Fairfax

I believe the EBA naming rights are up end of 2025 with EagleBank having first right of refusal to extend for another 10 years. Given their branch closures, layoffs, etc. I'm not confident they'll want to extend, so arena naming rights could be packaged with the basketball facility as a larger sponsorship proposal.

Go get that incremental revenue $$$$$$!
 

EXpatriot13

All-Conference
GIVING DAY 2023
If true that the new AD was able to find the financing to get this done, then, yes, I am impressed. My guess is that this had already been a done deal and they were just waiting for the right time to announce. I hope I am wrong, because new AD could get the "Big Balls Marvin" title if true.
Sorry, I didn't mean to suggest Marvin found the financing 2 months into him taking the job haha. I think Dr. Wash played a major role closing the loop on financing and moving the project forward over the last few years; he doesn't seem like the type of person who enjoys letting projects roll over or missing timelines/benchmarks.

Blue Balls Brad first announced this project over 6 years ago before it just fell into the abyss, he could have gotten this done in that timeframe, but it seems he was pretty checked out towards the end of his tenure.

My point on Marvin is more about him sitting down with Dr. Wash when he started to get the lay of the land on athletics, and the two of them likely coming to the conclusion that this is a major project that needs prioritization and could drive additional buzz and momentum for the program in both Marvin and Tony's first year.
 
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