Significant emphasis has been placed on improving and creating new amenities for all visitors and fans, as well as creating premium seating options. The Finneran Pavilion will feature numerous upgrades to provide a more enjoyable experience for all fans. These enhancements include:
- A relocated and completely revamped main entrance that will serve as a gathering place for fans and the entire Villanova community throughout the year.
- A continuous 360-degree concourse hosting a variety of concessions, merchandise stands and other fan amenities.
- New seating throughout the arena—allowing for improved seat comfort—and all sideline seats will now have backs, doubling the number of seats with backs.
- Enhanced audio-visual (LED video board, lighting, acoustics, etc.) capabilities.
- A new Hall of Fame exhibit that will honor and celebrate the storied legacy of Villanova Athletics.
- The Court One Club—one of the new hospitality areas in the Finneran Pavilion—featuring the actual court from the 2016 National Championship game at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX.
- Premium courtside seating options with access to select clubs and amenities.
- Upgraded Wi-Fi technology throughout the building.
The capacity of the Finneran Pavilion will not increase. The decision to maintain the existing capacity is based on a number of factors, including:
- The Pavilion is in need of a complete overhaul now. After 31 years, the Pavilion’s infrastructure has experienced significant wear and tear, and in order to provide an improved game-day experience for all fans this renovation cannot wait.
- Making any adjustments outside the current footprint would require relief from zoning ordinances including building height and setback restrictions. The process to pursue zoning relief would have delayed the project for several years, which is not feasible given the Pavilion’s current state.
- As with all projects on campus, cost is a significant consideration. Increasing seating capacity was considered, but a full teardown and rebuild to add seating would cost well over $125 million. With all of the other University projects currently being undertaken, borrowing for this project is not feasible. Therefore, the project needs to be funded entirely by donor support. While we have made significant progress toward our $60 million goal, we are still actively fundraising for the project.
- Increasing capacity would also necessitate creating additional parking but with campus space at a premium, adding parking is simply not an option.
The Pavilion survey administered last spring revealed that having an on-campus arena was critically important to our loyal fan base. This is one of the reasons that we decided to renovate the Pavilion and continue to utilize the Wells Fargo Center (WFC) in Philadelphia for a select number of home games. With more than 19,000 seats, the WFC provides additional opportunities for our dedicated fans to support the men’s basketball team. Also, after a thorough review of all current seating—the season ticket wait list and based on historical demand—we anticipate that we will be able to provide opportunities for loyal fans who are not currently season ticket holders to purchase seats in the Finneran Pavilion.
The Wells Fargo Center provides a direct connection to the city of Philadelphia—one of the greatest basketball cities in the country. Villanova Men's Basketball began hosting a portion of its schedule at a venue in the city of Philadelphia in 1950 and is an important part of our Villanova Basketball heritage. In recent years, the Wells Fargo Center (WFC) has been a signature part of our men’s basketball program and a key element in recruiting the nation’s best talent. When complete, the Finneran Pavilion, along with the Wells Fargo Center, will create an unmatched fan experience that sets Villanova apart from its peers. Villanova Athletics is committed to creating as much symmetry between the WFC and the Finneran Pavilion as possible, so moving forward, seats and tickets for both locations will be correlated. The survey also showed that there is significant demand for maximizing the experience at WFC for fans who are only able to come to a handful of games each year. Therefore, we want to provide a complete weekend entertainment experience for our fans that includes restaurant and hotel options, various ticket and club amenity options, parking and much more. These details are still being finalized and will be communicated when more information is available.
Students will be seated along both baselines at the Finneran Pavilion, placing them closer to the court. We believe this will enhance the student fan experience and provide an even greater home court advantage for our men’s and women’s basketball teams.
The majority of current season ticket holders will have the opportunity to retain their current seats or choose comparable seats in similar locations. However, with the adjustment of the student section to both baselines, some season ticket holders will need to be relocated. All season ticket holders will be contacted by a member of the Villanova Athletics department and relocation options will be made available at that time. Recognizing the support of our long-time fans, we are committed to completing the season ticketing process in the most amenable and fan-friendly manner possible.
Yes. With the increase in price, Villanova Athletics is able to provide a significantly improved fan experience with enhanced amenities, improved operations and premium options that were not possible in the current Pavilion. It will also help support of Villanova Athletics’ 24-varsity programs and 600-plus student-athletes. The final costs, which will include an annual donation for certain sections of the arena, are still being finalized and will be released as soon as they are available.
All season ticket holders will receive priority access to secure seat locations and be able to speak with a member of Villanova Athletics staff about their ticket options moving forward. The exact timing of purchase will be communicated in the coming months. There is a carefully thought-out communication strategy that will sequentially take season ticket holders through the process of purchasing tickets. Villanova Athletics is committed to completing this process in a way that is inclusive of our dedicated fans.
The current seating plan for the Pavilion has been in place since it opened in 1986. Our research has shown that this current seating plan is simply not a viable option long-term. Villanova is in the process of adopting and implementing a support-based seating program to thoughtfully reseat the arena. The new program will reward those who have supported Villanova Athletics and other University initiatives. We believe this is the most fair and equitable way to reseat the Finneran Pavilion. Reseating with a priority for supporters is now commonplace on college campuses across the country and is necessary for Villanova to remain competitive with our peers.
Yes. VAF donors and current season ticket holders will have priority to purchase new premium seating. The process will be determined by the support-based points program, which will be in place to recognize those fans who have provided the most ardent support to Villanova Athletics and University initiatives.
Wait list members and Finneran Pavilion Insiders will have the opportunity to purchase any remaining premium seating after project supporters, current season ticket holders and VAF donors have been seated.
Yes, project supporters, season ticket holders, VAF donors, Finneran Pavilion Insiders and fans will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with a member of Villanova Athletics at the Preview Center to review new seating options. Details on the location and timing of the opening of the Preview Center will be shared in the coming months.
As season ticket holders, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to remain in the same seat location under the new ticket policy, unless their current season tickets are located along the North baseline. Affected faculty and staff season ticket holders will be contacted individually by a member of the Villanova Athletic department with options to relocate to comparable seats within the arena.
Although plans are not finalized, there will likely be a requirement of a donation in order to retain and purchase season tickets.
Enhancing the fan experience has been a priority throughout our decision-making process for the Finneran Pavilion. We considered what our fans want pre-game, post-game and everything in between, and the survey revealed that there is significant demand for a range of options. With the limited space we have to provide these options, we will offer a variety of clubs—some more exclusive, others available to a wider audience. Detailed information on the types of amenities for each club will be provided in the near future.
Access to the premium clubs and preferred parking will be connected to specific seat locations and memberships.
Designated parking locations will be reserved for certain seating areas and sections. On-campus parking and off-campus alternatives will continue to be available for season ticket holders and game attendees.
Yes, accessible seating options will be available on all seating levels.
The intent of the renovation is to transform the Pavilion into a predominantly basketball-only facility that will also host other University-wide and ancillary events. Villanova Athletics intends to utilize a seasonal dome on West Campus for our student-athletes that will provide significantly increased space and a better quality surface for winter training. In addition, the dome will feature an indoor track for our elite Track & Field program. The dome, which will be air-supported, will also create additional options for intramural and recreational sports that are not currently available.
University Facilities Management staff and project construction teams in are in constant contact regarding all ongoing projects taking place across campus. Best efforts will be made to minimize conflicts and disruptions. With the scope of this project being targeted to interior work, we anticipate a minimal amount of disruption to the campus and the surrounding community.
The University is actively working on a comprehensive plan for these events and will communicate those details as they are finalized.
Once completed, the Finneran Pavilion will continue to host annual University-wide events, including the St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service, Special Olympics and Commencement. With the planned enhancements, the Finneran Pavilion will also be a year-round attraction for fans and visitors to enjoy. Some of these enhancements include the Villanova Athletics Hall of Fame exhibit, the 2016 National Championship court from NRG Stadium, and shops to purchase Villanova Athletics gear. We also anticipate being able to host external events such as corporate gatherings, outside community events, concerts and more.
The Finneran Pavilion is named in honor of alumnus, William B. Finneran, who made a $22.6 million leadership gift last spring to support renovations to the Pavilion. Finneran, a 1963 Villanova graduate with an Economics degree, is a longtime supporter of the University, serving for a decade as a member of the Board of Trustees and as a co-chair for the University’s previous capital campaign. He is a Founding Partner of EXOP Capital LLC, a long/short hedge fund firm based in New York City, and is also Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Edison Control Corporation. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Villanova, and is currently a member of the prestigious Carr and Heritage societies, which recognize the lasting impact of dedicated alumni, parents and friends on the University. A passionate and loyal supporter of Villanova Athletics, he also endowed the men’s basketball head coaching position.
Given Villanova’s increased visibility nationally — and the world-class stature of Villanova Athletics — now is the time to transform the Pavilion into an arena that better reflects the caliber of our athletic programs. Simply after 31 years, the Pavilion needs an immediate update as time has caused considerable wear and tear. Consideration was given to building a completely new facility but time, resources and space eliminated that possibility from consideration.
The comprehensive renovation plan for the Pavilion will cost $60 million. The renovation, which will be funded entirely by donor support — will completely transform the existing Pavilion — creating a high-quality, game-day experience for Villanova student-athletes, coaches and fans.
The renovation of the Pavilion is scheduled to begin in June 2017 and be completed in time for the start of the 2018-19 men’s and women’s basketball seasons.
While the full schedule, including locations, has not been set, the majority of our men’s home games will be played in Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center and the women’s home games will be held on campus in the Jake Nevin Field House. Additional information will be available in the coming months as details are finalized.
Seating locations and pricing of tickets for Finneran Pavilion are yet to be determined. After designs are drafted and approved, a deliberate process — with thoughtful consideration given to students, current season ticket holders, donors and alumni — will begin this spring and the results will be shared when finalized.
To receive updates on the Finneran Pavilion renovation project including renderings, season ticketing options, and plans for the 2017-2018 season, please register to become a Finneran Pavilion Insider. Project supporters, Villanova Athletic Fund (VAF) members, and current season ticket holders need not register, as they will be the first to receive project updates.