Galen Center
The Galen Center is a multipurpose indoor arena and athletic facility owned and operated by the University of Southern California. Located at the southeast corner of Jefferson Boulevard and Figueroa Street in the Exposition Park area of Los Angeles, it is right across the street from the campus and near the Shrine Auditorium and is the home of the USC Trojans basketball and USC Volleyball teams. The architectural firm behind the design of the Galen Center is HNTB. In addition to basketball and volleyball events, the Galen Center hosts concerts, pageants and theatrical performances. Local high school graduation ceremonies as well as CIF championships and the Academic Decathlon are held at the Galen Center.

USC had planned to build an on-campus indoor arena for over 100 years. Before the Galen Center, USC basketball had been played at a variety of locations, including the neighboring Shrine Auditorium stage, the old Pan-Pacific Auditorium in the Fairfax District, and since 1959 at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. The final push to build the new facility began in 2002, when Louis Galen, a successful banker and long time Trojan fan, and his wife Helene donated $10 million to the new center immediately after USC football quarterback Carson Palmer won the 2002 Heisman Trophy. The Galens donated an additional $25 million to the project to have the building named after them and later upped their donation an additional $15 million to make sure that a connected practice facility would also bear their name, bringing the total donation to $50 million. Previously, the USC men's and women's basketball teams practiced at the smaller, on-campus North Gym. The Galen Center replaced the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena as the home for USC men's and women's basketball. Galen Center construction cost an estimated $147 million, which includes the arena, team offices, and a state of the art practice facility. The largest tax revenue would be generated by the city of Los Angeles' 10 percent parking tax. Other sources of tax revenue will include sales tax, utility users tax, business license tax, and income from advertising. In addition, two new parking structures were built: a 1,200-space structure located between the Radisson Hotel and the arena, with access from Flower Street, and a second structure at the southeast corner of Figueroa Street and Exposition Boulevard. The additional parking structures also increased the available parking for both the USC campus and the nearby Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Construction officially began on October 31, 2004, with a groundbreaking ceremony including Los Angeles City Council members Bernard Parks and Jan Perry along with Helene and Lou Galen, longtime USC fans for whom the facility is named. The first event, a women's volleyball game between USC and Stanford University, took place on October 12, 2006. The first concert at the Center was October 21, 2006 and featured Al Green. The first men's basketball was held on November 16 against the University of South Carolina. The first sellout crowd was the men's basketball game against the UCLA Bruins on January 12, 2007 with an attendance of 9,682. The highest attendance in the first year was for the Cal Bears men's basketball game on February 24, 2007 at 10,027. On January 31, 2008 the USC men's basketball game against the Arizona Wildcats set the arena's attendance record with crowd of 10,258 in attendance.

Jim Sterkel Court
The Galen Center's basketball court was named after former USC Basketball player Jim Sterkel, who played for the Trojans for two unremarkable seasons in the 1950s, averaging only 10 points a game. Two unique factors in the naming rights were the obscurity of the name choice and that the Sterkel family was not aware that the court was named after the late Jim Sterkel until after the facility had already opened. An anonymous donor and longtime friend of Sterkel made the $5 million dollar donation under the agreement that his name never be revealed. In an interview with Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke, Anonymous revealed that he grew up with Sterkel: both attended Mark Keppel High School, both began at USC in 1955 and were roommates, and though Sterkel never graduated from USC, the two remained friends. Later in life, Sterkel was hired by Anonymous, who had become a successful businessman. When Sterkel contracted cancer, Anonymous helped with his treatment. When Anonymous' own son contracted leukemia, Sterkel wrote a poem for Anonymous, sealed it, and ordered it only to be read if Anonymous' son died. Sterkel died from cancer in 1997, Anonymous' son succumbed less than two years later. Touched by the poem and Sterkel's care, Anonymous made the donation to the Galen Center noting: "Some people don't deserve to be forgotten."

Facility information
The facility is 255,000 square feet (23,700 m 2), with a 45,000 square feet (4,200 m 2) pavilion, and has three practice courts and offices. The seating capacity is 10,258, and there are 22 private suites. The rights to purchase tickets for approximately 1/3 of the seats are being sold through lifetime personal seat licenses, or PSL's, ranging from $2500”“$10,000 per seat.

  • Taiwanese Mega Star Jay Chou held his first concert on December 24, 2007 for his World Tour 2007.
  • The 2011 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards will be held at the arena on April 2, 2011.


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