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Money in the Bank
If you make your way out onto the viewing deck of the TD Bank Sports Center you will be overcome by a view which allows you to gaze over New Haven and make out the Long Island Sound. However, the view surrounding the facility is nothing compared to what is inside of it.
The TD Bank Sports Center opened on Jan. 27, 2007, and hosted the Long Island University men’s basketball team in the building’s first event. The game’s ending was fitting, as the Bobcats prevailed in overtime by a score of 73-71. The TD Bank Sports Center was the first finished complex in the construction of the York Hill campus.
The addition of the TD Bank Sports Center is vital for the future of Quinnipiac athletics, according to Director of Athletics and Recreation Jack McDonald.
“It is absolutely crucial to have these new facilities from a recruiting standpoint,” McDonald said. “It gives us such a sizable advantage over the other teams in our conference. It shows how committed the university is toward athletics.”
The TD Bank Sports Center is a $52 million state-of-the-art complex with every amenity imaginable. The building is divided into separate basketball and hockey arenas joined by a main lobby that not only serves snacks, but serves as a gateway to every part of the building.
Below the lobby are locker rooms, lounges, weight training facilities, training rooms and offices. All four teams that play in the TD Bank Sports Center have their own team lounge and locker room.
“This is top of the line,” Sports Information Director Ken Sweeten said. “It was important for the facility to be equitable for all teams and genders. The hockey and basketball locker rooms are well above average in size compared to other schools. There are many high-profile Division I programs that don’t have the type of facilities that we do. Some visiting teams have laughed because our away locker rooms are better than their initial home locker room.”
Connected to the locker rooms are the team lounges. Each lounge has its own plasma television and couches – a comfortable way for the team to relax when studying film. Outside of the locker rooms and lounges is a top-of-the-line weight training room. The weight room can be used by athletes on their own, or when working with Brijesh Patel, the strength and conditioning coach.
The type of excellence displayed by the TD Bank Sports Center is exactly what was envisioned when the facility was decided on in 1995.
“It has been a long process,” Sweeten said. “The Board of Trustees voted on it, and then a year later in 1996, we declared our intent to go Division I. It took eight years to start digging and raise enough money, but it’s obvious that every penny was worth it.”
The TD Bank Sports Center has already hosted other important events besides athletics, including the 2009 fall concert played by Third Eye Blind.
“The concert was a success,” Executive Director of the TD Bank Sports Center Eric Grgurich said. “We plan to have all future concerts in this arena, which will hopefully include some brand name performers.”
The sports center also hosted the 2008 Women’s NIT tournament, which was the first national tournament ever hosted by Quinnipiac University.
“We hope that along with some winning sports programs that we can get additional ticket sales through events such as this,” Grgurich said.
A newly constructed parking garage should also help improve local support. The most notable event coming up is on Jan. 3, when the TD Bank Sports Center will play host to a women’s hockey game between the U.S. Women’s Olympic hockey team and the ECAC All-Stars.
The nearly three-year-old sports facility is a masterpiece that represents Quinnipiac University’s devotion to its current students, along with its prospective students.
With the completion of the 250-acre York Hill campus, Quinnipiac University will have facilities that many schools can only dream about.
“There is no comparison to our new facilities,” McDonald said. “It’s something to be extremely proud of.”