Save Mart Center
Save Mart Center at Fresno State is a multi-purpose arena, on the campus of the California State University, Fresno, located in Fresno, California. An open house was held for community on 5 November 2003, with the official ribbon cutting following on 27 November 2003. It is home to the Fresno State Bulldogs basketball team and, for the first five seasons in the ECHL (2003-08), the Fresno Falcons ice hockey team; prior to the opening of the building, they played at Selland Arena. It is also a concert destination, with its first performance featuring opera tenor Andrea Bocelli. Financing for the project was provided through revenue, from corporate sponsorships, private gifts, leasing of luxury suites, sale of club seating and personal seat licenses, as well as revenue from advertising and signage agreements.

Construction
  • Sink Combs Dethlefs, conceptual designs, project architect
  • International Facilities Group (IFG), construction monitor, project manager
  • Clark Construction Group, LLC, general contractor
  • John A. Martin & Associates, structural engineer


Facilities
Save Mart Center encompasses approximately 40,000 m² (430,000 ft²) on three primary levels; an event level and two concourses, plus a club level mezzanine. The facility includes thirty-two revenue-generating suites and eight party suites, located on the main concourse level. Seating capacities are approximately 15,500 for basketball, 14,000 for hockey, 8,000 for half-house concerts, 15,500 for end-stage concerts, and 18,000 for center-stage concerts. The arena's main exterior landmark is the 37 m (93 ft) Larry A. Shehadey Clock Tower. Thirteen stories in-all, it was named for the founder of Producers Dairy Foods, a Fresno-based dairy company, who donated US$3 million towards construction. The lobby at the arena's southeast entrance is named after Shehadey’s late wife, Elayne Shehadey. The majority of the funding for the facility came from two sources. Save Mart Supermarkets paid US$40 million for 20 years naming rights, and the Pepsi Bottling Group paid a similar sum for exclusive, indefinite beverage dispensing rights. Total construction costs exceeded US$100 million and when completed, represented the largest privately funded complex of any university in the United States. The Bulldog Foundation donated money for the following amenities at Save Mart Center:
  • The Bulldog Foundation Community Room, which displays the names of past presidents, current officers, lifetime honorees and annual top fund raisers and used for show catering, premium seating holder dining and is also available for rent.
  • The Bronze Bulldog at the Shehadey Lobby. Created by the Visalia based art foundry, EMI, is the massive bronze bulldog statue with dimensions of 3 m (10 ft) high, 2 m (7 ft) wide, 3 m (9 ft) long, weighing 1,905 kg (4,200 lb). Statue onlookers will see engraved on its mounted plaque:


  • Nine time capsule boxes were placed in the base of the massive Bulldog statue early in 2004. The contents of capsules were chosen to represent all aspects of Fresno State University, including the Bulldog Foundation, administration, alumni, students and athletics. The capsules are scheduled to be opened in early 2054.
  • Save Mart Center's display cases, located on the upper and main concourses, exhibits equipment and memorabilia of each of the current Bulldog sport activities. Additionally, the display case in the northwest corner spotlights the academic success of Fresno State’s student athletes.
  • The Bulldog Walkway is a permanent, on-campus tribute to the California State University, Fresno alumni, graduates and friends. It is located on the north side of Save Mart Center with the first three tiles in honour of Colonel Richard Douglas Husband, who died in the Space Shuttle Columbia accident, Lieutenant Commander Otis Vincent Tolbert, who died in the 911 attack on the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93 passenger, Todd Morgan Beamer. All were Fresno State alumni. Expected to eventually be extended throughout the campus, the walkway consists of personalized tiles and bricks intended to leave a lasting impression to those who use it.
  • The Bulldog Shop souvenir store is located on the arena's northeast lobby. It will only be open to sell Fresno State merchandise and apparel during university events.


Sports events
Officials from the Fresno Falcons of the West Coast Hockey League announced on 18 March 2002 that the Falcons would make Save Mart Center at Fresno State their home ice beginning with the 2003 season. The Western Athletic Conference men's basketball tournament was held at the center in 2004, as well as World Wrestling Entertainment's Royal Rumble 2005 and WWE Live Events, including ECW/ Smackdown 6/30/09 where 3 superstars made their debut, including multiple time WWE Champion, Sheamus. The first athletic event held at Save Mart Center took place when the Rainbow Wahine of Hawai'i took on the Fresno State Bulldogs in women's NCAA volleyball in October 2003. Save Mart Center's first arena football game was held on July 19, 2008. The Central Valley Coyotes defeated the Boise Burn 55-50. Both teams were members of the now defunct af2, the minor league for the Arena Football league. Save Mart Center has hosted four NBA Pre-Season games Since the arena has open the first game was in 2003-2004 when the Los Angeles Lakers hosted the Sacramento Kings. The Lakers defeated the Kings 105-80, the second was in 2004-2005 with the Sacramento Kings taking on the Phoenix Suns. The Suns defeated the Kings 100-88, the third was in 2005-2006 when the Lakers hosted the Utah Jazz. The Lakers defeated the Jazz 95-85. The Los Angeles Lakers hosted another game in the 2008 Pre-Season against the Los Angeles Clippers, with the Clippers beating the Lakers 107-80. Save Mart Center hosted a NHL Pre-Season Game on September 23, 2006. The San Jose Sharks took on the Anaheim Ducks. The Sharks defeated the Ducks 4-3, Joe Thornton scored the Game-Winning Goal for the Sharks, Anaheim went on to win its first Stanley Cup later that season. Save Mart Center hosted the Strikeforce: Tank vs. Buentello mixed martial arts (MMA) event on October 6, 2006. It hosted the inaugural ShoMMA on May 15, 2009. Since 2004, the arena is a stop for PBR's Built Ford Tough Series for the Table Mountain Casino Invitational.

Concerts
Several major entertainers have performed and the Northside Christian Church has held Easter Sunday services, featuring country singers Lee Greenwood in 2004, Randy Travis in 2005 and Christian recording artist Natalie Grant in 2006. The arena has also played host to music festivals, including The Vans Warped Tour and The Mayhem Festival. The arena has hosted MercyMe's Rock & Worship Roadshow for three years in a row (2009-11).

“ This is our mascot and he ain't no hound. He’s an English bull and weighs lots of pounds He’s got two rows of teeth and a terrible frown Hey, nobody’s kicking our dog around!!! ”

Building Activity

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