The design team was commissioned by Villanova University to reimagine the 30-year old Pavilion, the on-campus home for the Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams. The goals of the project are to create a major Division I basketball experience, elevate fan experience, and increase revenue.
Upgrades to the two-story, 6,500-seat structure include a relocated main entrance, a completed concourse, and increased quality of premium offerings, seating, and amenities. These modernizations will not only support Villanova’s Men’s and Women’s Basketball programs but other university events and programs.
A great experience begins as soon as the fan has left his or her primary mode of transportation. This project aims to improve the approach to the building by including an outdoor plaza for pre- and postgame activities, augmented by improved landscaping, site lighting, and site furniture. This new entry sequence, at the southwest corner of the building, will allow most patrons to enter the building closer to where they arrive and take advantage of the large area south of the main arena.
Once inside, fans will be greeted by a new lobby and hall of fame, with graphics and memorabilia celebrating the values and history of Villanova and its athletics program. Beyond the lobby, there will be a balcony “ring” overlooking the open court, while above will be a new, 360-degree concourse activated with merchandise and concessions.
Transforming The Pavilion from a multi-purpose field house to a basketball arena allowed the design team to utilize areas within the structure for unique premium experiences. Three levels of club spaces were designed, blending the existing and new architecture with market research data.
The unique hyperbolic roof form was seen by the team as an opportunity to be celebrated. Over 400 linear LED light fixtures were designed into the exposed roof structure to accentuate the volume. Four corner video boards, along with a center-hung LED and fascia ribbon boards were combined with a new state-of-the-art sound system, elevating the fans’ experience from that of a glorified high school gymnasium into a major Division I arena. Wi-Fi technology will also be upgraded throughout the building.
Amenities were improved, including upgraded spectator seating throughout, nearly double the restrooms, and several times the number of points of sale. The seating capacity will remain unchanged; however, every seat in the house will be upgraded.
Originally opened in 1986, The Pavilion, when complete, will be known as the Finneran Pavilion, in honor of Villanova alumnus William B. Finneran, and will be unsurpassed as one of the most fan-friendly, high-technology arenas in the nation.