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18 May 2017

California Baptist University’s Events Center Nears Completion

California Baptist University’s new events center in Riverside is nearing completion. Designed by HOK and SVA Architects, the $77 million, 5,200-seat arena creates a new home for the university’s men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and wrestling teams.

“Cal Baptist’s events center is not quite open for business yet. But when it is completely functional, it will be spectacular. And it will be transformative not only for the Magnolia Ave. campus, but almost certainly for the city that surrounds it.”

“Full occupancy for the new building will not take place until July. But friends of the university have already bought into the immense potential of what immediately becomes the biggest arena in town, with 5,050 seats (and room to expand by another 1,500 on the mezzanine level).”

“The suite of athletic offices and the home locker room facilities are designed for recruits to walk through, eyes wide. CBU branding will be everywhere, including representations of the school’s logo on the ceilings of the men’s and women’s basketball team rooms, hovering over locker stalls made of deep, rich wood.”

“The arena itself will feature theatrical lighting, for chapel services and concerts, and TV-friendly lighting for basketball. Above the floor there will be a digital control room to provide images for the four-sided scoreboard hanging above center court, as well as the ribbon board that circles the main arena floor and two additional video boards that can be lowered from the rafters on the student side.”

“The facility, with its Mission Revivalist exterior — a nod to the campus’ predominant architecture — and its thoroughly modern bells and whistles inside, should be a strong initial draw to the surrounding community, but the focus will be on campus activities. President Ronald L. Ellis estimated that athletics, chapel services and other university events would fill at least 150 dates from the start, and possibly more than 200 or 250.”


The Press-Enterprise