The new arena is expected to open for teams in the fall of 2014. Photo by Jesus Pichardo
The new arena is expected to open for teams in the fall of 2014. Photo by Jesus Pichardo

Stony Brook University is expecting a new addition in the form of a new athletic and entertainment facility in fall 2014.

But Stony Brook Arena is not exactly new. According to a press release from May 2012, the university commenced a renovation of the 40,000 square foot arena. With a budget of $21.1 million, renovation began in June of 2012. According to the press release, the renovation “provides Stony Brook with a new opportunity to build relationships within the community.”

Designed by NK Architects and Populous and contracted by Fortunato Sons Contracting Inc., the new arena will feature a larger seating capacity. 4008 seats will be constructed for the basketball court and 4200 for the entertainment seats. But one of the facility’s notable features will be the brand new LED video displays from Daktronics. According to Digital Signage Connection, one display, measuring nine feet high and 17.5 feet wide, will be installed at the end of each side of the arena. These LED screens will provide the entire arena with a clear visual of the event.

“They are capable of featuring one large image of live video and instant replays, and can also be divided into sections of various sizes to highlight up-to-the-minute statistics, scoring information, sponsor messages, and other graphics and animations,” the website said.

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Not only that, eight LED scorer’s tables, measuring 4 feet high and 9.5 inches wide, will be installed at the sides of the court, and will showcase sponsors, up-to-the-minute statistics and other game information. Daktronics will also provide two fixed-digit scoreboards, two stat panel displays, two locker room clocks and three shot clocks and two light strips.

For now, the seats are still covered in plastic sheets and the new scoreboards yet to be unveiled. But, in less than a year, the arena will be the new home of Stony Brook’s Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams. Members of both teams are thrilled to have this new facility.

Ben Resner, a grad student and guard for the Men’s team, described the new arena as “magical.”

“When you walk in here, you feel what a Division I program should look like,” he said.

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Sophomore forward for the women’s team Brittany Snow is also excited to use the new court, which is bigger than Pritchard Gymnasium, both teams’ current home.

“I wish it was ready this year so we can play in it,” she said. “It’s a different feel and it’s a different environment.”

Sophomore forward for the men’s team, Scott King, said that playing in the new arena will be completely different than playing in Pritchard.

“But I feel like it’s still going to be the same atmosphere,” King said. “’Cause we have great fans, great people coming to the games, people with a lot of support, I think it will be fine.”

However, senior members on both teams are saddened that they will not get the chance to play in the new arena, but happy for their younger team members.

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“It’s unfortunate that I don’t get to play in the arena,” senior and guard for the women’s team Teasha Harris said. “But, I think it’s great for the young players who don’t get to play here.”

“If they can fill it like they do Pritchard and make that environment the same,” grad student and forward on the men’s team Eric McAlister said. “It’s gonna be a true, true advantage.”

In addition to the large seating capacity and high tech display screens, Aruba Networks, Inc. will provide the new arena with Wi-Fi connection. Aruba Networks is a “leading provider of next-generation network access solutions for the mobile enterprise,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

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