Termed by Northwestern University’s Vice President for Athletics and Recreation Jim Phillips as “a historic moment for the future of Northwestern Athletics,” Welsh-Ryan Arena’s complete renovation project recently scored substantial funding.
Patrick and Shirley Ryan, Stephen and Susan Wilson, and
additional benefactors will supplement the current budget to achieve the $110-plus
million refurbishing budget for the university’s home to
basketball, volleyball and wrestling.
“The inspiring leadership of the Ryans has benefited
Northwestern in so many ways over the years, and we are extremely grateful for
this latest gift,”
Morton Schapiro said.
Improvements will include new seating, office space and locker rooms, wider aisles, new fan amenities, and upgraded lighting.
Phillips described all the donors as valuable visionaries whose
contributions will last for generations.
“The new Welsh-Ryan Arena will be a dramatic transformation
for our varsity sports programs that call it home and for the fans who
devotedly support our student-athletes,” he said. “A central tenet of our
commitment to providing a world-class experience for our Wildcats is a
passionate home crowd. This complete overhaul … will create a state-of-the-art
experience accessible to all Chicagoland sports fans while they support our
student-athletes in competition.”
Construction is expected to commence following the March 2017 basketball season with a target completion date of fall 2018. The athletic department is arranging alternative playing venues for practice and games.