November 23, 2020 : By Liberty University News Service
Liberty Arena, the new home of Liberty University’s men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and women’s volleyball programs, officially opened its doors with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday afternoon.
The 4,000-seat arena, located adjacent to the 10,000-seat Vines Center, offers a “wow” factor with an intimate atmosphere inside its 125,000-square feet of space.
“It’s very rare with a building project that the final product is even better than you dreamed about,” Liberty Director of Athletics Ian McCaw said. “That’s the case with Liberty Arena. We thought this was going to be a tremendous facility, but when you are here, it’s just eye-popping. We are so excited and so grateful.”
In addition to McCaw, Liberty’s Associate Athletic Director and Executive Director of Development Mike Hagen introduced women’s volleyball Head Coach Trevor Johnson, women’s basketball Head Coach Carey Green, and men’s basketball Head Coach Ritchie McKay to speak. They were joined in the official ribbon-cutting ceremony by Dan Deter, Liberty’s Vice President of Major Construction; Mickey Guridy, Senior Associate Athletic Director in charge of Internal Operations; and Gaurav Gupte from Odell & Associates, the architect of the project.
Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance VP of Membership Services Heath Barret also addressed the crowd at the press conference, which was streamed live on Liberty Athletics’ Facebook page.
“We are blessed and have a great spirit of gratitude to be a part of this united effort,” McKay said. “This to me is a reflection of … Liberty’s pursuit of excellence in everything that we do, and a commitment to our student-athletes to heighten their experience. Our guys have been in awe when we have walked into this place.”
“This place is just phenomenal in terms of a home-court advantage and just getting fans close to the floor,” Johnson added. “Our new Teraflex Flooring is state-of-the-art. It is just going to really enhance the experience for our fans.”
McCaw said the facility’s grand opening is the culmination of a tremendous amount of work and the continued fulfillment of a vision cast by Dr. Jerry Falwell, Liberty’s founder, supported by its Board of Trustees and senior leadership.
“We are especially excited to be able to turn it over to our volleyball and basketball programs and the coaches and student-athletes,” McCaw said. “You can hear how excited the coaches are about this venue. It is going to be a game-changer and will have a dramatic impact on our programs.”
Among the amenities are a spectacular, state-of-the-art video board along with accompanying ribbon boards.
“There’s a tremendous lighting and sound system to go along with that and all of that will come together to create one of the best home-court advantages in all of college athletics,” McCaw said. “We can’t wait to get our games under way beginning next week and we are so thankful to everybody who had a role in making this come to reality.”
Liberty’s women’s basketball team will host Norfolk State to begin its home slate on Tuesday, Dec. 1, after opening its season on Wednesday at Ohio and Saturday at Virginia Tech. The Flames’ men’s basketball team will then entertain Saint Francis (Pa.) in its home opener on Thursday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. after tipping off its season at this Wednesday’s and Thursday’s Space Coast Challenge in Melbourne, Fla., and Saturday and Sunday at the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City.
The women’s volleyball team’s inaugural season at the new arena will begin Jan. 22 with a match against Virginia Commonwealth University.