University of Arizona Athletics, in conjunction with the football program, hosted the Lowell-Stevens Grand Opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, prior to the Meet the Team event which includes a select-a-seat event, a scrimmage and an autograph session.
"I want to thank everyone for being here today to celebrate this exciting commitment to Arizona Athletics," Athletics Director Greg Byrne said. "The Arizona Board of Regents was critical from the get-go and we appreciate their support. You don't have a chance to compete in intercollegiate athletics without the support of your university president. President (Ann Weaver) Hart has been engaged and supportive since she hit the ground running here in Tucson. We also have a great partnership with our Foundation and what they mean to us is immeasurable."
"We wouldn't have been able to get started with this project if it weren't for Jeff and Sharon Stevens stepping up in the manner that they have," Byrne added. "I also want to thank Dave and Edith Lowell and the leadership they showed in getting this project off the ground. Also, Peter and Nancy Salter, Louis "Buzz" Sands, Jim and Vicki Click, as well as so many others who have contributed to make this project a reality."
"We are very proud of the fact that we used a local work force for the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility," Byrne added. "We really took into consideration the local economy with this project. This is the most significant upgrade Arizona Athletics has seen – not just in terms of scope and project cost but the impact it will have on each of our 20 sports - and, with the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility, we're striving to be a top-10 athletic department."
The Lowell-Stevens Football Facility, which opened to the public in August 2013, is a reflection of growth and symbolizes a dynamic shift in the Arizona football culture as it becomes the centerpiece of the program on the north end of Arizona Stadium. Supported by private funds including significant lead gifts from David and Edith Lowell and from Jeff and Sharon Stevens, the $72.3 million project provides the Wildcats with one of the premiere football facilities in the nation.
"Thank you for being here to celebrate the contributions made to The University of Arizona and Arizona Athletics," President Ann Weaver Hart said. "This project sets the stage for success in college athletics. I'm thrilled to see the on-going progress in protecting and serving the safety of our more than 450 student-athletes with the new athletic training and strength and conditioning facilities. With the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility, we're seeing a new era of competitive advantage for Arizona Athletics."
From a football perspective, the facility is a five-story operations center with strength and conditioning, sports medicine, coaches' offices, locker rooms, meeting rooms, players' lounge, academic study areas and equipment and facility service areas. Additionally, the Bear Down Kitchen offers food service to the football team and will be open to the public during the school year.
"Thank you all for coming and celebrating the grand opening of the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility," head coach Rich Rodriguez said. "Watching our team see our new building for the first time was the greatest moment of the process for me. Not a day goes by without one of our players saying how tremendous this new facility is. The ground work for this project was laid out before I got here and I got to watch the progress from the ground up. I've been at a lot of schools but the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility tops them all. It's a true testimony of the support our University, Athletic Department and community have for our program and our student-athletes."
The structure encloses the north end of the stadium and creates a full bowl with nearly 3,500 lower-level and 576 club level premium spectator seats. The seating area offers the ultimate in premiere amenities and luxury game experience. Additionally, stairways and elevator towers for the concourse connect the structure to the existing east and west stadium sections. Restrooms, amenity areas and a cafeteria also serve fans, campus and the community.
The Sands Club is an upscale yet festive atmosphere which offers an outstanding social and business environment. This is an exclusive and unique experience to entertain family, friends, and clients on game day. Guests enjoy amenities including climate-control temperature, relaxed lounge-style seating, numerous televisions, improved Wi-Fi and mobile streaming support, buffet, as well as beer and wine service. From the Sands Club, fans step outside and enjoy one of three seating options, all with spectacular views of the field and game, and in a location to experience the energy, sights, and sounds of Arizona football game day.
Tickets for the 2013 football season including in the north end zone and club level of the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility, are available and can be purchased by visiting the McKale Center Ticket Office, calling 520-621-CATS or by visiting ArizonaWildcats.com/footballtickets. Fans can also make appointments via the McKale Center Ticket Office to tour the seating areas during normal business hours.
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