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Bradley Hilltopics

Fall 2010 • Volume 16, Issue 4  

 

The Rise of the Arena

By KAREN CROWLEY METZINGER, MA ’97 and GAYLE ERWIN McDOWELL ’77

Bradley’s sparkling new campus arena on Main Street has opened its doors. Its gently curved roofline is a nod to Robertson Memorial Field House, which stood in its place for almost 60 years. Under construction for 27 months, the $50 million facility has something for everyone — volleyball and basketball games for up to 4,200 fans, concerts, student events, a museum and hall of fame, store, and ticket office.

Online

To see how easy and convenient attending events at the new campus arena is, visit bradley.edu/hilltopics/go/quicktour.

To view a video of the atrium, visit bradley.edu/hilltopics/go/atrium.

To watch the dedication, visit bradley.edu/hilltopics/go/anderson.

For reactions to the new arena from volleyball players and head coach Sean Burdette, visit bradley.edu/hilltopics/go/vballarena.

 

Past meets present

Nick Owens and his wife.Enter the arena from Main Street and you’ll be reminded of earlier Bradley athletics. Original letters spelling out F-I-E-L-D-H-O-U-S-E are high above the Burklund Family Heritage Hall. An inlay of Field House flooring, fold-down seats, the organ, and a roof truss also commemorate the previous structure. Eye-catching displays entertain visitors with glimpses of the past, and the 500+ men and women inducted into the Bradley Athletics Hall of Fame are honored in a special area.

Above, the building’s spectacular Nick and Nancy Owens Atrium is named for NICK OWENS ’67 and his wife, charter members of the Renaissance Circle Society, which honors commitments of $1 million or more to the Campaign for a Bradley Renaissance. The BU ticket office and an athletic merchandise store are located off the atrium.

 

Proud practices

With more than 12,500 square feet, the practice floor boasts 10 hoops, allowing players to make the most of practice sessions. A contribution from Michael Heisley, owner of the Memphis Grizzlies, allowed for naming the court in honor of Bradley great MITCHELL “JJ” ANDERSON ’82. The only four-time MVP in Bradley history, Anderson has worked for the Grizzlies for the past decade.

Two academic study rooms are designed as comfortable, quiet quarters with space for approximately 30 student-athletes in each. Tutoring areas, wireless Internet, computers, and additional resources are provided. RAISA TAYLOR ’11 and basketball academic coordinator Heather Moles plan for the fall semester.

Overlooking the arena to the left and the basketball facility to the right, the Braves Club room provides a great view of the action and the 11 graphic display boards and two 194-square-foot video boards in the arena.

 

Bringing out the best

Ed King

Three hydrotherapy pools are available to address different athletic needs. Associate athletic trainer Jessica Hanson and basketball player HANNA MUEGGE ’12 demonstrate how the pool with the treadmill — one of the few in the nation — helps athletes return to activity before they are ready to run, jump, etc., on the ground.

Ed King

The warm whirlpool is for preparation before activity. The cold whirlpool helps with recovery after hard activity, or helps to decrease swelling in muscles and joints.

Above, volleyball players study their playbooks and watch a game tape in the lounge area leading to their locker room. Twelve locker rooms with plenty of space for belongings (including charging stations for iPods and cell phones) are part of the 165,000-square-foot structure.

A theater setting allows coaches and players to view tapes of games and practices together. Other Bradley teams have similar viewing areas. Shown are BROOKE BISPING ’13 and assistant women’s basketball coach NcKell Copeland.

The building also houses all athletics offices and facilities for conditioning and training.