On Tuesday, October 25th, the formation of the Colangelo School of Sports Business was publicly announced at a news conference in the Grand Canyon University Arena by the entrepreneur and legendary sports professional himself, Jerry Colangelo. Alongside Grand Canyon University CEO, Brian Mueller, and Business Dean, Dr. Kevin Barksdale, Mr. Colangelo championed his mission to share what has made him so successful with a savvy generation of current and prospective students.
Launched in mid-2010, the Bachelor of Science in Sports Management has more than 300 ground and online students currently enrolled in Arizona’s only sports business major program. The opportunity for Grand Canyon University students to engage with experts in the field through the Colangelo Guest lecture Series and participate in exclusive networking events truly sets this program apart from others throughout the country. In addition, each year, an outstanding second-year student will be selected to be mentored by Colangelo.
Jerry Colangelo possesses a remarkable track record of casting a vision which has helped transform organizations, franchises, and entire metropolitan cities. In honor of this historic collaboration with Grand Canyon University, Mr. Colangelo will donate personal sports memorabilia to be displayed permanently in the new Arena.
Equipping students with a sports business education focused on innovation, servant leadership, and then enveloped under the Colangelo banner speaks volumes to the quality and ambition of GCU’s latest pioneering academic program.
By Doug Carroll
As a few hundred students and staff looked on, the final two steel beams for Grand Canyon University Arena were hoisted into place by crane shortly after 2:30 p.m. on Thursday.
The ceremonial topping-out marked a historic occasion for the University and the 5,000-seat facility, tentatively scheduled to open on October 1 as the home of the men’s and women’s basketball teams. The Arena also will host concerts and other productions.
Groundbreaking took place barely seven months ago, and already the Antelopes’ coaches are envisioning their teams running up and down the floor, which has yet to be installed.
“It’s a privilege to stand here on Trent May Court, in Keith BakerArena,” joked Russ Pennell, head coach of the men’s basketball team. “At least, that’s what they’ve been telling me.”
Pennell and May, head coach of the women’s team, were among those who addressed the gathering in the concrete bowl’s north end. Also making brief remarks were CEO Brian Mueller, campus development project manager Bob Machen, Phoenix CouncilmanClaude Mattox and Craig Shaw of Perini Construction, contractor for the facility.
“This will be the best midsize venue in the country,” Mueller said, noting that no taxpayer money was spent in its construction. “Our students and graduates will benefit, along with the people who come to work here every day.
“Thanks to all of you, because you have done this. This is just the beginning.”
Mattox, a Phoenix mayoral candidate, said he liked what he heard.
“I love the part about how it didn’t take any taxes,” he said. “I’ve always said this university is a diamond in the rough, and the diamond is beginning to shine.”
May called the facility “a huge step, a monumental step” and quoted from Proverbs 16:9: “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”
Shaw said the building’s construction called for 800 tons of steel. He explained an old Norwegian tradition of affixing a pine tree to the last beam. An American flag rode up with the other beam.
The building was designed by Architekton of Tempe in partnership with 360 Architecture of Kansas City, Mo., which has designed a number of top-tier sports and concert venues across the country.
Reach Doug Carroll at 639.8011 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.