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Grand Canyon University Arena
GCU Arena
Grand Canyon University Arena - Dusk.jpg
The Grand Canyon University Arena at dusk.
Location 3300 West Camelback Road
Phoenix, Arizona 85017
Coordinates 33°30′37″N 112°07′44″W / 33.510152°N 112.128884°W / 33.510152; -112.128884Coordinates: 33°30′37″N 112°07′44″W / 33.510152°N 112.128884°W / 33.510152; -112.128884
Broke ground June 25, 2010
Opened September 1, 2011
Owner Grand Canyon University Education Inc.
Operator Grand Canyon University Education Inc.
Architect 360 Architecture
Architekton
Structural engineer Paragon Structural Design
Services engineer Henderson Engineers
General Contractor Perini Building Company
Capacity 7,000
Tenants
Grand Canyon Antelopes men's & women's basketball

The Grand Canyon University Arena (GCU Arena) is a 7,000-seat, 135,000-square-foot (12,500 m2) multi-purpose entertainment and athletics facility in Phoenix, Arizona, owned and operated by Grand Canyon University. The arena is the home of Grand Canyon University Lopes men's and women's basketball teams and other athletic events.

History

The Grand Canyon University Arena officially opened its doors on September 2, 2011, just 15 months after the University announced the project. The construction of the arena was part of the University's $200 million campus expansion and growth. It will regularly host Christian and secular concerts, outside performances, speaking engagements, Grand Canyon University athletic events, and commencement ceremonies.

In addition to the arena, the university is in the process of upgrading the athletics facilities, building new classroom space, dormitories, and other educational facilities on campus.

Sports teams and other events

The GCU Arena is home to Grand Canyon University's Lopes men’s and women’s basketball.

GCU plays host to Christian and secular concerts, outside performances, speaking engagements, athletic events, and commencement ceremonies. Previous acts include: Casting Crowns, David Crowder Band, M-1 Global Challenge, Switchfoot, Pandora’s Unforgettable Moments on Ice featuring David Archuleta and Mannheim Steamroller, Lady Antebellum, and Third Day. In 2017 it hosted the ESPN/Intersport-produced College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championship leading up to that year's Final Four at Glendale's University of Phoenix Stadium.

On October 14, 2012, the arena hosted TNA Wrestling's 8th annual premier pay-per-view of the year, Bound for Glory.

Facility information

GCU Arena Interior
Inside of Grand Canyon University Arena, one hour prior to a men's basketball game.

There are 7,000 seats in the 135,000-square-foot (12,500 m2) arena. There are also five concession stands (including three pizza ovens), 17 restrooms, four locker rooms, two escalators, two elevators, two grand staircases and a total of four HD video boards and one high resolution digital ribbon board. The state-of-the-art video boards were installed by Atlanta-based Innovation Sports Marketing. The main video board measures 15 feet (4.6 m) tall by 35 feet (11 m) wide and weighs around three tons.

Design for the facility was done by 360 Architecture and Tempe-based Architekton. When construction of the arena was complete there were a total of 255,000 man hours, 8,870 yards of concrete, 41,000 bricks, 793 tons of structural steel, 75 miles (121 km) of electrical wiring, and 2,300 light fixtures.

Notable features include large windows providing natural light, ceiling beams signed by GCU employees and students, a vault of Bibles buried at center court and an outdoor balcony with views of the Camelback Road campus. There are only 42 steps from event level to concourse level to ensure that every seat in the arena is a good one.

Expansion

Just over three years after opening, GCU Arena closed on March 3, 2014, to undergo a massive remodel. With the quicker than anticipated jump to Division I athletics for the Grand Canyon Antelopes athletic programs, the school announced the expansion of the arena from a capacity of 5,000 to 7,000 seats. The growth of the arena was primarily intended to incorporate adequate seating for the men's basketball games and for larger concerts.

Arizona sports icon Jerry Colangelo, who is closely connected with the athletic program, was involved in the expansion process, stating: "If GCU knew when the building went up just a couple of years ago that they would be in Division I as quickly as we have, it would have been built bigger."

After a proposed finish date of October 17, the Arena opened nearly six weeks ahead of schedule on August 23 for a Switchfoot concert as a part of the school's 2014 Welcome Weekend. Final changes included an upper-deck seating area, a movable track for the high definition video display, and a new basketball floor.

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