Following a summer-long renovation, the University Sports Complex reopened to the Loyola community this semester with a new look for the Wolf Pack. The entire project was funded by the generosity of Wolf Pack donors through their gifts to the Faith in the Future campaign. Improving facilities for athletics and wellness at Loyola is one of the major priorities of Faith in the Future, which has yielded over $68 million in gifts to the university since 2011.
The most noticeable improvement includes a varsity game floor with chair-back telescoping bleachers for Wolf Pack fans to enjoy basketball, volleyball, and cheer and dance competitions. Upgraded lighting with LED lights to increase brightness for Wolf Pack athletic events, and the game floor now has Loyola’s athletic logo prominently displayed on center court. These changes will have a significant effect on the gameday experience for Wolf Pack fans.
Other improvements in the facility included the men’s and women’s locker rooms for students, faculty, staff and patrons of the University Sports Complex. A functional training area was created through a generous donation from Wolf Pack alumnus Roland Hymel.
“We’re excited to reintroduce the University Sports Complex to the Loyola community. Our fans will notice a significant difference in the seating, lighting and overall aesthetics in The Den that will generate a sense of Wolf Pack pride. We are thankful for the generosity of our donors who made this project happen,” said Loyola Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Brett Simpson.
This initial work is just the beginning for the Sports Complex. Future phases will include additional Loyola branding, a reimagined Hall of Fame space, and upgraded locker rooms and sports medicine areas for Loyola Athletic teams. Exterior improvements are also planned for the facility that was built in 1987.
“I am really looking forward to our first season in the updated venue” said Wolf Pack women’s basketball senior Zoie Miller. “Adding the new court design and improved lighting really makes The Den feel like a true home court. The addition of the bleachers was also a major improvement to the venue and I think those are really going to help improve the fan experience.”
The Wolf Pack volleyball team earned a win in the first intercollegiate event hosted in the renovated Den. Loyola defeated St. Thomas College of Houston 3-0. Allison Hartmann led the way for the Pack with eight kills in the victory.
A full schedule of Loyola athletic events can be found on the Wolf Pack website at www.loyolawolfpack.com.