Fairfield University has finally unveiled the namesake of the building formerly known as the “Arena and Convocation Center,” which will now go by “Leo D. Mahoney Arena.”
Leo D. Mahoney was a member the Fairfield Trustees Advisory Council in the 1990s. The businessman, father and husband to Joan E. Mahoney passed away at the age of 82 in 2010, according to his obituary from boston.com.
The newly-named facility draws its support from donors of the University and will honor Mahoney via its name. According to an official press release from FairfieldStags.com, “The $51 million project will be 100 percent donor funded.”
The gift comes from Fairfield University Trustee Shelagh Mahoney-McNamee ‘87, the daughter of Leo D. Mahoney. According to the press release, she has two children currently attending Fairfield University and two who have already graduated from Fairfield University. Her other child is an alum of Boston College, a fellow Jesuit university.
“It is an honor to be a part of this new chapter in Fairfield’s history,” Mahoney-McNamee stated, according to the press release. “I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to my alma mater, that has given me so much both personally and professionally, and to honor my father, with this dedication.”
On June 28, 2022, The Mirror reported that the official name of the arena at the time was “Arena and Convocation Center,” but was commonly referred to as “Arena 100.”
However, Deputy Director of Athletics Zach Dayton confirmed that the “Office of Advancement has been working on all named spaces.” Included in these spaces is the return of the George Bisacca Court, which is named after Fairfield University’s former athletic director.
Mahoney Arena will be home to Fairfield University’s basketball teams, as well as its volleyball team. According to the press release, university events and concerts will also be held here.
The women’s basketball team will play their home opener on Nov. 18 against Stonehill College followed by the men’s basketball team which will play their home opener against Saint Peter’s University on Dec. 3.
The new season will be preceded by the return of pre-season festivities, which was hinted at by members of the Fairfield community during the cornerstone placement ceremony that took place on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, at 5 p.m.
“We are eagerly awaiting its grand opening on November 18,” Fairfield University Student Association President Jordan Gale ‘23 stated during the ceremony. “And we’re looking forward to packing the Red Sea in December.”
Gale continued his speech to the crowd by sharing what the arena’s construction means for students. To him, it signifies “coming together with our friends and peers to cheer on our fellow Stags” and “cheering with you all this winter.”
Fairfield University Student Association Vice President, Aliyah Seenauth ‘24, built off of Gale’s statements with her own take on the importance of the new facility.
“As students, it is truly inspiring to see what can be achieved when there is a need and there is a vision for constantly moving Fairfield forward,” Seenauth expressed.
After Seenauth’s speech, Fairfield University’s Vice President for Marketing and Communications Jennifer Anderson outlined the different uses and events that the new arena will hold for the Fairfield community. With “an eager student body excited to be a part of Red Sea Madness,” a “community of residents who can’t wait to watch their hometown teams,” alumni and even Fairfield Preparatory School athletes, Anderson clarifies that the Fairfield community will see many uses to Mahoney Arena.
Season tickets are now available to be purchased for the new season. A separate press release from fairfieldstags.com outlines the new seating chart of the arena for fans looking to attend games.
On the court level of Mahoney Arena, sections 106 through 110 will serve as the “primary Fairfield student section,” whereas sections 116 through 120 will be the “secondary Fairfield student section.” These aforementioned sections are bleacher-style seats as opposed to chair-back seats, which can instead be found courtside and at the corners of the court level.
The second floor on the entrance side closest to Loyola Drive will feature the club access seats in which fans will be able to purchase food, drinks and more.
One major inclusion of Mahoney Arena that the former Alumni Hall lacked is a brand new spirit shop on the main concourse level. This will revamp the fan experience and ensure that students have access to all the gear they could need for gameday.
Additionally, the press release outlines the new plans for pregame passes specifically for men’s basketball events. For the price of $450, one can purchase a club access pass that offers them access to “heavy hors d’oeuvres, game day favorites and soft drinks throughout each game, a premium cash bar and the ability to order food from an exclusive menu from your mobile phone to be delivered to your seats.”
For the lower price of $150, fans can purchase “The Levee Pregame Pass,” which will allow fans to dine on appetizers and pizza in The Levee before men’s basketball games. Both passes are available to purchase for the 2022-23 season.
For continued updates on information about Leo D. Mahoney Arena, visit Fairfieldstags.com.
*Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article stated that Leo D. Mahoney was apart of Fairfield University’s Class of 1970. This information was learned to be incorrect and has since been removed from this article.