Grand Canyon University unveiled its new $40 million, 5,000-seat arena today designed to be a centerpiece of sports and entertainment at the Phoenix university.
More than 2,500 employees and community leaders attended the opening. The project came in under bid and ahead of schedule, said Brian Mueller, CEO of the Phoenix university. It is part of a $200 million project at the campus that includes two new dorms, a second dining facility, a new classroom building and a student recreation center.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony ended with an opportunity for GCU faculty and staff to have first pick of tickets for the upcoming basketball season, which kicks off Nov. 5 with an exhibition game against Arizona State University .
The arena also will be home to GCU volleyball games and wrestling matches, as well as Christian concerts and high school championship games, Mueller said.
Kicking off its concert series will be a performance by Christian band Casting Crowns on Sept. 23, followed by the national tours of Switchfoot and the David Crowder Band. Country sensation Lady Antebellum will appear Nov. 17.
The arena was designed by Kansas City-based 360 Architecture and Tempe-based Architekton . It was built by Phoenix-based Perini Building Co .
Mueller said the arena will be used to build the local community. GCU’s campus is at 33rd Avenue and Camelback Road in Phoenix, near Interstate 17.
“We have renamed this area the West Biltmore,” he said.