Home games will be a little closer to home for Cal State San Marcos athletes next year.
CSUSM President Karen Haynes joined administrators and athletes at the university Monday to celebrate the ground-breaking of the campus’ $11.5 million sports center, which is scheduled to open in August 2016. The 25,000-square-foot center, paid for through student fees, will give a true home court for the men’s and women’s basketball teams and the women’s volleyball team.
“This facility has been a missing link for us as a department,” said Athletic Director Jennifer Milo, who was quick to add that the university’s teams have done well despite not having a home of their own.
The men’s and women’s basketball teams have played home games at MiraCosta College in Oceanside and the women’s volleyball team has played at Escondido High School and Pacific Ridge School in Carlsbad.
All teams have done well, said Milo, who noted that the men’s basketball team has been in the NAIA’s top five ranking for the past 22 weeks and has a 25-0 home record over the past two seasons.
“Just image what the stats and accolades will be when we have an actual home right here on campus and an actual home-court advantage,” Milo said.
The new center will have seating for 1,400 spectators at gamesand up to 2,200 for other events. It also will contain a ticket office, concession stand, an expanded sports medicine training room, locker rooms, a student athlete lounge, media office and administrative offices for coaches.
Haynes said the complex will help the university connect with the community, a core value of the school’s strategic plan.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association last year approved CSUSM for NCAA Division II candidacy. The school could be eligible to compete in the division by the 2017-18 academic year.
CSUSM student Bret Goudy, president of Blu Cru spirit squad at the school, said he is looking forward to attending games in the center after he graduates.
“As we prepare to join the ranks of the NCAA, spirited students such as myself have one goal in mind — to create the most-feared venue in all of college sports,” he said.