The $50 million project is significantly changing and upgrading the arena’s space.
EAST LANSING, Mich. - There’s a ton of construction happening on Michigan State’s campus, but there is one project in particular eyes are waiting to see: the renovation of the Breslin Center. The sounds of grinding, battering, sledgehammers and machines have been flowing inside and out of the building for more than a year.
MSU announced in October 2015 that it was moving forward with a $50 million major upgrade to the Breslin Center. The addition includes 26,000 sq. feet, for the MSU Basketball Hall of History, expansion of the concourse, and the Draymond Green Strength and Conditioning Center. Green, who donated $3.1 million to the program in 2015, will have a locker room for former MSU student-athletes who are now playing professional basketball named after him.
The work to bring this blueprint to life started in January 2016 with Barton Malow Company. The project is expected to be nearly completed by August 2017, with the final touches by June 2018.
I was granted access to see the progress that has been made so far. Here’s the inside look, with interactive 360 video, into the Breslin Center project.
The Gilbert Pavilion and Tom Izzo Hall of History
The Hall, which is an addition to Breslin, is located on the southeast side of the area. It will include a trophy section, relocating the hardware on display in the Berkowitz Basketball Complex. The space will also a have recruit lounge to enhance the experience of future MSU athletes.
“The Hall of History will be the ultimate showcase of the rich history of Spartan basketball. Throughout the year, fans will be able to experience the great accomplishments of the men’s and women’s programs, while recognizing so many of the top moments and talented players,” said Gregory P. Ianni, MSU’s deputy director of athletics.
The Draymond Green Strength and Conditioning Center
Next, we go below the Hall of History to the Draymond Green Strength and Conditioning Center. The men’s and women’s basketball programs will use the facility to get and stay in shape before, during and after their seasons. The center will also have a locker room for former MSU athletes in the pros, to come back and train during the off-season.
The Breslin’s concourse area was famous for being like a maze – challenging to get through to get to the bathroom or buying a snack during a basketball game or event. Good news, those crowded days are over. The concourse is being expanded, roughly by 15 feet. There will be new concessions, and restrooms with added toilets and facilities. The north section of the concourse is already completed and the sleek upgrade is noticeable.
“I come here with my family to watch games and see things, and I know how much its needed because its so crowded on the concourse and the lines have been so long for restrooms – and already with the north end being done you can see the difference in that ease of access and how that improves the fan experience,” said Jason Vanzee, MSU’s project representative.
Workers at Barton Malow are making sure to stay on task, ensuring the project will finish on time.
“There are a lot of things going on and we try to make it as fun as possible, there’s a lot of stressful things with building this and of course there is money involved, but I think having a good time as best we can is all we’ve got,” said Vanzee.
The excitement is building, as many await the final result of what’s going on in the Breslin.
“It’s hard to imagine that any other school will have a facility quite like it. Michigan State greats of the past, season ticket holders, fans driving in from long distances, talented recruits and young children and their families will all be impressed by the celebration of Spartan basketball,” said Tom Izzo, MSU’s men’s basketball coach, in a statement.
This project also intrigues students, who are curious about how the Breslin arena experience will change.
“I’ve been covering the team for about a good two years now. I was a fan of the team – or was a fan before I went to journalism. I am excited to see the Hall of History, especially being an out of state student its something that I don’t necessarily have a grasp on like most in-state students do,” said Issac Constans, a senior journalism major, who hails from New Orleans. “Being from down south we definitely didn’t get that experience but it makes the Breslin I think much more of a Mecca, more of a place where people make a pilgrimage to for basketball purposes and to learn as fans.”