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Lead Gift Landed for Baylor Basketball Pavilion

Baylor Basketball arena rendering

Baylor University has landed the lead gift for the planned Baylor Basketball Pavilion, providing a major boost to the effort to build a new arena.

The university has been pursuing the construction of a new arena, which would serve as a home to its men’s and women’s basketball programs. Fundraising to construct the arena–currently dubbed the Baylor Basketball Pavilion–has received a major boost, as it was announced on Tuesday that the project has landed a lead gift.

Although the university’s fundraising push will continue, the lead gift from an anonymous donor should account for a substantial portion of the arena’s estimated $105 million cost. More from SportsDay:

While school officials declined to give a dollar figure, athletic director Mack Rhoades said during a news conference that the arena’s price tag was $105 million and that Baylor still needed to raise $30 million. Based on the math, that meant $75 million for the anonymous family donation — part of $100 million given to the school’s university-wide Give Light Campaign.

“One of the best ways we can help our sports programs is to give them the most electrifying — and I use the word intentionally — the most electrifying home-court advantage we can provide,” Rhoades said.

In the process, Baylor joined the list of Texas schools that have completed or planned new arenas or major renovations — including SMU, Texas, TCU and Houston.

No timetable was set for construction of the arena, currently christened the Baylor Basketball Pavilion. The building will replace the Ferrell Center, which was built in 1988. It will be located on the south bank of the Brazos River between the Baylor Ballpark and Ferrell Center.

Under the current plans, the Baylor Basketball Pavilion will feature an estimated capacity of 7,000-7,500. It will include facilities for both the men’s and women’s basketball programs, with both teams slated to depart the Ferrell Center in favor of the new arena. The Ferrell Center is slated to remain operational as part of a planned $20 million renovation to accommodate volleyball, acrobatics, and tumbling.

Rendering courtesy Baylor Athletics.

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