Athletic Department introduces new plans for renovations of Alumni Gym

By Shaun Chornobroff

Rider has introduced a new strategy to accrue donations for the renovations of Alumni Gym — offering naming opportunities in a multitude of spaces in exchange for a donation, according to a release from the university on April 20. 

The plan, which will contribute to making the gymnasium, “a modern Division I NCAA facility,” will allow donors to potentially name an arena seat for $500, a locker for $1,000, an arena courtside padded seat for $2,500, as well as potentially join others on a “Donor Wall” that includes gifts of above $5,000. Other opportunities can be found on the university website.

“This endeavor will create an exceptional game-day experience for both student-athletes and their fans and help build school pride and engagement across the university,” said Director of Athletics Don Harnum. “This is a great opportunity for former athletes, fans and others who wish to make their mark on this ambitious project.”

“The Rider Arena Project” will see an overhaul of the Alumni Gym, which was the first building on the Lawrenceville campus. The planned changes include a center-hung scoreboard, a new lobby with ticketing and concession areas and expanded seating along the baseline into the corners. 

“I think it adds onto the excitement of what is the Bronc Zoo,” men’s basketball Assistant Coach Marlon Guild said of the improvements to the arena. “I think before the renovations went into place it was already a tough place to play… Adding more fans and finding a way to incorporate them to a home court advantage is always a plus.”

In addition to the arena improvements, the school announced a significant expansion: to the Sports Medicine Center, a new $1.7 million strength and conditioning center for student athletes and a dedicated locker room to the volleyball team, who recently made its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament main draw in 27 years.

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 “As a program, we are obviously thrilled at the plans for a new locker room for the volleyball team,” said Jeff Rotondo, the head coach of Rider’s volleyball team. “It does mean a lot to our players to have a place they can call their own that is top notch. It goes to the overall appeal of the program and athletics department, and will definitely aid in recruiting. Even in mid-major conferences, players and recruits want to have nice facilities and be able to have pride in the areas they call their own.”

In October of 2020, the athletic department received its largest gift in its

history — receiving a $2.5 million anonymous donation to the project which is only 40% away from its goal, needing $7.2 million to reach the needed $18.2 million dollar overhaul of Alumni Gym. 

Caption:  “The Rider Arena Project” will see an overhaul of the Alumni Gym, which was the first building on the Lawrenceville campus, a project estimated to cost over $18 million. 

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