Spectators at North Central College home basketball, volleyball and wrestling contests will be treated to a greatly improved atmosphere inside Gregory Arena at Merner Field House. A series of upgrades are in the works with the goal of creating an improved experience for teams and fans alike.
With the arena’s running track receiving far less use after the opening of the Residence Hall/Recreation Center, the College took advantage of the opportunity to install retractable spectator seating on the first floor of Gregory Arena.
With the help of a targeted fundraising effort, more than $250,000 has been invested in the installation of new permanent seating on all sides of the court. The new bleachers add 600 first-floor seats, boosting Gregory Arena’s seating capacity to 2,600, including balcony seating (not shown on floor plan image).
The bleachers were manufactured by Hussey Seating Company of North Berwick, ME, and were purchased from Carroll Seating Company in Elk Grove Village, IL. Other improvements, including a new sound system and scoreboards, are planned for the future.
“It’s going to be a great experience for everyone,” said head men’s basketball coach Todd Raridon, whose team is coming off a school-record 28 wins and its first national semifinal appearance. “We’ve always enjoyed great support at home games from alumni, families and the community, and they’re really going to enjoy their experience going forward.”
The Cardinals’ volleyball program will be the first to compete in the newly renovated arena, hosting Elmhurst College on September 24. The men’s and women’s basketball teams open their seasons at home November 15 by hosting the Chicago Marriott Naperville Tip-Off Tournament.
“These renovations couldn’t come at a better time,” said head women’s volleyball coach Karen Bunkenburg, the program’s all-time leader in wins (269). “I’m so excited for our student-athletes to play in this environment and for our families to get a top-notch venue to watch the team play. It will have a tremendous impact on recruiting and how our facility is viewed in general.”
To contribute to the Gregory Arena renovation project, contact Adrian Aldrich, executive director of development and alumni relations, 630-637-5201 or email@example.com or visit northcentralcardinals.com/GregoryArenaUpgrade.