Memphis celebrates next-gen facilities with opening of Laurie-Walton Family Basketball Center
The Laurie-Walton Family Basketball Center on the Park Avenue campus of the University of Memphis (UofM) features the latest in amenities, technology, student-athlete involvement and even fan engagement. The facility becomes the primary home of the Memphis Tigers men’s basketball program and sets the standard as the next generation of facilities.
UofM President, M. David Rudd, said:
We are proud to partner with the Laurie-Walton family and all of our donors to make this dream a reality. The University of Memphis is driven by doing, and this facility proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that this University is moving forward and upward. With increased enrollment, several ongoing construction projects and an engaged and active faculty and staff, this project is yet another reminder that the very best days for the University of Memphis are ahead of us.
The newly-built, US$21m venue includes the normal practice facility amenities, including practice gym, locker room, coaches’ offices and training facilities. However, what sets the Laurie-Walton Family Basketball Center apart from its predecessors is the commitment to donor and VIP cultivation, a public Hall of Traditions, academic support for multiple teams, state-of-the-art training facilities, enhanced technology and connectivity throughout the building, and a practice court that is significantly larger than the normal size.
Athletic Director, Tom Bowen, said:
The Laurie-Walton Family Basketball Center is truly the next generation of facilities as it bridges the rich history of the Memphis men’s basketball program to our present and future success. I am deeply humbled by the generosity of our donors, and especially the Laurie-Walton Family, who have made this 100 percent donor-financed facility possible. It is a place that the University, the City of Memphis and all of Tiger nation can be immensely proud to call their own.
The Hall of Traditions is a public access area that allows Tigers’ fans to reflect on the history of the program and includes artifacts and keepsakes from the various eras of Memphis basketball. This unique area of the Laurie-Walton Family Basketball Center is a testament to the incredible history of Memphis basketball, and the passion of the fan base. There is also ample room to add the next generation of memories, awards and championships.
The commitment to student-athlete wellness is evident throughout the facility, but the athletic training and academic support areas stand out. The athletic training technology exemplifies a new standard in injury prevention and student-athlete recovery through the use of advanced hydrotherapy equipment, hot and cold tubs, sauna and expanded taping stations. Academic success is a driving principle for the entire University, and this is personified in the academic support area, which will serve as a hub for several sports on the Park Avenue campus. This enhances the efficiency of academic support, reduces time demands on the student-athletes, and significantly expands academic support space.
Bill Laurie, said:
This magnificent facility clearly demonstrates a strong commitment to academic and athletic excellence. Nancy and I are proud to help create a new state-of-the-art home for Memphis basketball and to be a part of this effort to elevate the future of the men’s basketball program, while also celebrating the rich tradition and history through the Hall of Traditions.
The benefits of the Laurie-Walton Family Basketball Center extend beyond the men’s basketball program. This new construction greatly expands the training space for women’s athletics, as the Finch Center will now be dedicated to Memphis’ female student-athletes.
The design, construction and management of the project was facilitated by several companies with ties to Memphis and the national athletic communities, including Advent, AECOM, Burr & Cole Engineering, Diversified, Farris Bobango Branan PLC, Heery International Design and Consultation, Linkous Construction, LRK, Inc., Nations Group, The Sextant Group, University of Memphis Campus Planning and Design, University of Memphis IT and Network Services, Viridian and Wyatt Tarrant & Combs LLP.
Watch the video of the ribbon-cutting by following the link below: