The design team was commissioned by Villanova University to reimagine the 30-year-old Finneran Pavilion, the on-campus home for the Wildcats men’s and women’s basketball teams. The goals of the project were to create a major Division I basketball experience, elevate fan experiences, and increase revenue. The design team worked closely with administrators, coaches, staff, and alumni to create a project that reimagines the arena into a world-class, basketball-centric facility all about fan experience.
Upgrades to the two-story, 6,500-seat Finneran Pavilion include relocating the main entrance. This new entry sequence, at the southwest corner of the building, allows the majority of patrons to enter the building closer to where they arrive and take advantage of the large area south of the main arena. A great experience begins as soon as fans leave their primary mode of transportation. This project improves the approach to the building by including an outdoor plaza for pre- and postgame activities, augmented by improved landscaping, site lighting, and site furniture.
Once inside, fans are greeted by a new lobby and hall of fame, with graphics and memorabilia celebrating the values and history of Villanova and its athletics programs. Beyond the lobby, a balcony “ring” overlooks the open court while a new 360-degree concourse activates merchandise and concessions.
Transforming Finneran 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 now blend the existing and new architecture with the market research data.
The team celebrates the unique hyperbolic roof form with over 400 linear LED light fixtures, designed into the exposed roof structure to accentuate the volume. Four corner video boards, along with a center-hung LED and fascia ribbon boards combine with a new state-of-the-art sound system, elevating the fan experience from that of a glorified high school gymnasium to a major Division I arena. Wi-Fi technology is also upgraded throughout the building.
Additional improved amenities include upgraded spectator seating throughout, nearly double the restrooms and several times the number of points of sale. The seating capacity remains unchanged. However, every seat in the house is upgraded.
Originally opened in 1986, Finneran Pavilion honors Villanova alumnus William B. Finneran and is unsurpassed as one of the most fan-friendly, high-technology arenas in the nation.