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Furman Athletics Announces Major Renovations To Timmons Arena

Feb 20, 2024 02:47PM ● By David Dykes

Furman’s Timmons Arena, the basketball home of the Paladins for nearly three decades, will undergo a major renovation and reopen in the fall of 2025, Furman Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Jason Donnelly announced Feb. 20, 2024, at a news conference on campus. 

University officials said the $40 million donor-funded renovation will transform Timmons Arena into a first-class, state-of-the-art facility that will dramatically enhance the game day experience for Furman’s loyal fans and students and stand among the best arenas in college basketball at its size and scale.

The renovations are scheduled to begin in April 2024 and will include: a reimagining of the arena’s entrance and lobby, upgrades to seating options, the addition of premium and luxury box seating, improved audio and visual components, enhanced box office support, a children’s play area, new visiting team locker room and new administrative offices.

There will be premium access to eight private suites and two party suites, a hospitality deck, courtside seating and a private VIP lounge, and enhanced concessions, including “Grab & Go” options. The capacity of the renovated arena will be 2,750 and feature 360-degree concourse access to lower-bowl seating. 

The signature capital project of the Clearly Furman Campaign represents the largest donor-funded project in Furman history and is headlined by a cornerstone $10 million gift from philanthropist and businessman Ravenel B. Curry III ’63.

His lead gift is supported by more than 200-plus donors, including ten seven-figure gifts and 31 six-figure gifts. University officials said the investments represent a significant step in advancing the strategic priorities outlined in Inspiring Greatness, Furman Athletics’ Strategic Plan, which emphasizes philanthropic support for athletics facilities, endowment, and operational support for all 19 varsity teams. 

“Thanks to our generous donors, Timmons Arena will be the showplace for college basketball in our conference and one of the best arenas in the country,” said Furman University President Elizabeth Davis. “Timmons will be a jewel on campus for all our students, faculty and staff, and it will continue to be a place for the Upstate and Furman communities to gather for basketball, Furman Engaged, graduation, and other student events.”

The interior and exterior renovation represents Phase Two of a comprehensive donor-funded plan to improve Timmons Arena following the September 2022 completion of Phase One, which features the renovation and expansion of basketball offices, locker rooms, and film rooms for the men’s and women’s basketball programs. 

Fundraising is ongoing and naming opportunities are available.

“The reimagination and renovation of Timmons Arena is a transformational moment for Furman Basketball and the entire Greenville community which shows a commitment to maintaining one of the most competitive programs in mid-major basketball,” said Furman head men’s basketball coach Bob Richey.

During the renovation, Furman’s men’s basketball will play the majority of its home games at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in downtown Greenville, while the women’s team will play the majority of its home games at North Greenville University. 

Both squads will practice in Alley Gym. The programs will return to the newly renovated arena in the fall of 2025.

“We are so appreciative to all who contributed to this project,” said Furman head women’s basketball coach Pierre Curtis. “This renovation will be a game changer for our program and student-athletes and is another example of how Furman continues to set ourselves apart from other universities.”

Ken Betsch of Betsch Associates is the lead architect on the renovation and whose recent projects include the College of Charleston’s TD Arena and the University of Texas Event Center. 

Greenville’s Harper General Contractors, currently overseeing Furman’s South Housing project, Converse College’s Fleming Hall and Clemson University’s Soccer Complex at Riggs Field, will serve as the contractor

Furman's NCAA Division I athletics program includes 19 varsity programs and over 350 student-athletes. A member of the Southern Conference since 1936, Furman has claimed 248 league team championships and made 133 appearances in NCAA Tournament competition.

Among the university's 173 All-Americans are basketball's Frank Selvy, soccer's Clint Dempsey, golf's Brad Faxon, Dottie Pepper, and LPGA Hall of Famers Betsy King and Beth Daniel.

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