Dec. 19, 2009
FRESNO, Calif. - On the sixth day of Christmas Timeout brought the Red Wave six years in the Save Mart Center. In 2003, the Save Mart Center opened its doors to the Fresno State volleyball, women's basketball and men's basketball teams.
Currently in its sixth year as the home of Fresno State men's and women's basketball programs and the volleyball program, the Save Mart Center is recognized around the nation as being one of the finest on-campus college arenas.
With its size, scope, unique architectural features, and state-of-the-art video, sound and telecom systems, the Save Mart Center should serve as the major provider of entertainment and sporting events for decades to come. Seating capacity for the arena ranges from 15,000 to 18,000 seats, with 15,596 listed as the official number for basketball.
Designed by Sink Combs Dethlefs (Denver, Colo.), the Save Mart Center is approximately 450,000 square feet and contains 32 private suites, 1,000 Arena Builder seats (commonly referred to as "club seats"), a club level concourse, team locker rooms, and athletics training facilities. The entire facility is approximately 48 acres and located off Shaw Avenue adjacent to Highway 168.
The total project value exceeded $100 million and represented the largest privately funded project in the history of the California State University system. The Save Mart Center was financed through revenue from corporate sponsorships, private gifts, leasing of luxury suites, sale of Arena Builder and personal seat licenses as well as revenue from advertising and signage agreements.
The Save Mart Center has already hosted three major sporting events. In March 2004, the facility served as the host site for the McCaffrey WAC Basketball Tournament. The following year, the Save Mart Center was the venue for the first and second rounds of the 2005 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament, marking the first time the NCAA basketball has visited Fresno. In 2007, Fresno State was one of four schools that hosted a NCAA Women's Basketball Championship Regional site as March Madness returned to the Save Mart Center.
The Bulldog volleyball team has called the Save Mart Center its home since 2006, as they played the majority of the season there in the first year and in 2007 competed in their first complete season at the arena.
In 2008 a new configuration was unveiled and a new floor built to create a new intimate environment for the student-athletes and fans.
The new court was designed to look similar to the court the team played on the previous two seasons at the Save Mart Center and the court that the Fresno State men's and women's basketball teams currently play its games.
The new floor however, is a volleyball specific court and was made by Horner Flooring out of Dollar Bay, Mich., the same company that designed the previous court. There have been many big games in the history of the Save Mart Center and here are some memorable games from all three teams.
On Sept. 14, 2006, volleyball played their first-ever match at the Save Mart Center. `Dogs hosted defending national champion and No. 4 Washington.
On Aug. 29, 2008, the Bulldogs win the opening match of the season in five sets over Cal State Bakersfield, the first win of her coaching career at Fresno State for Lauren Netherby-Sewell. The `Dogs also play in the new configuration and on the new volleyball specific court for the first time.
On Oct. 29, 2009, volleyball hosted No. 3 Hawai'i on ESPNU. It was the first time the `Dogs had been shown on ESPNU and the first time ESPNU had ever been to the Save Mart Center for a match. The `Dogs played their most impressive match of the year before falling to the WAC powerhouse.
Women's basketball earned their first win in the Save Mart Center on Nov. 28, 2003. Fresno State defeated Louisiana Monroe, 88- 56. It was also the Bulldogs first game in the Save Mart Center.
On January 14, 2006, women's basketball earned their first ever win over the Lady Techsters of Louisiana tech. Fresno State won 67-58.
And on Nov. 21, 2006, women's basketball earned their first win over a ranked team in 14 years. The Bulldogs beat No. 18 BYU, 61-51.
Men's basketball beat Nevada, 68-66, on Feb. 26, 2009 for coach Cleveland's 200th career victory.
On Jan. 27, 2006, the men beat Utah State in a double overtime thriller over Utah State. The Bulldogs won with a score of 99-96.
On Jan. 15, 2005, men's basketball hit a 30-foot buzzer beater against UTEP for a huge win in Fresno State history. The `Dogs won, 66-63.
On the sixth day of Christmas Timeout brought the Red Wave six years in the save Mart Center, five years of Cleveland, volleyball a fourth place finish, their best finish in five years, three-pointers from women's basketball, two national championships and the No. 1 women's tennis doubles team.