Fairfield University’s brand-new Leo D. Mahoney Arena will open on Nov. 18, 2022. As the arena’s construction rounds out the finishing touches before a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the same day, logistics in terms of parking, ticketing and more are beginning to take shape.

According to a post on Fairfield University’s official athletics website on Nov. 2, it was announced that single-game tickets for women’s basketball games were now live for purchasing. The same was announced for the men’s basketball team a week later on Nov. 9.

According to Deputy Director of Athletics Zach Dayton, students will be able to “gain access to free tickets before every game through their Paciolan ticket app,” which he notes is the same app that students used to redeem their tickets for President’s Ball in September. 

The Red Sea VIP Package, additionally, is a way for students to receive priority access to both student tickets during the regular season and postseason tickets, according to the page to purchase the package. The package also comes with a Red Sea Madness T-Shirt and entry into raffles and ticket upgrades.

An asterisk underneath the description of the package notes that “students receive free admission to Fairfield basketball games.” Dayton states that all tickets to games in Leo D. Mahoney Arena are digital. 

He continually emphasized that listening to the ideas of the student body will be key to creating an “exceptional experience” on gameday.

“Partnerships with FUSA will be season-long to ensure students have an exceptional experience and we [will] work together to bring ideas students have to the forefront and make them happen on game day,” Dayton stated.

With this in mind, he additionally clarified that there will be “promotions, giveaways and contests” for each men’s and women’s basketball game. According to Dayton, a full schedule of promotions for the season will be announced this week and can be found on Fairfieldstags.com.

Alongside the promotions that will be hosted on game days, Leo D. Mahoney Arena will boast a variety of all-new fan amenities to elevate the game day experience. Dayton shares that there will be a new beer garden called the “Red Sea Pub” which can be found on the eastern side of the main concourse level. On the opposite side, the Athletics Hall of Fame will be displayed. 

A new team shop can also be found in the new arena, where students and fans can purchase apparel.

There will be three concession stands in the new arena, which will serve food, beverages and alcohol, according to Dayton.

With regard to parking, the Department of Public Safety has worked alongside multiple departments on campus in order to create plans for parking on game day. Associate Vice President of Public Safety John DeAngelis stated that “We are working closely with departments throughout the University to create a streamlined and organized approach to parking for games and other large events hosted at the new Mahoney Arena.”

He continued that different parking models have been developed in anticipation of higher-attended events, with staff from DPS being present to handle traffic. 

“Fairfield University is lucky to have a walkable campus which means campus parking lots are within a short walk of Mahoney Arena,” DeAngelis stated. “However we are researching off-campus parking opportunities for the small number of home games with the greatest anticipated attendance.”

DeAngelis confirmed that although there may be games with a higher volume of fans, student residential parking will not be affected. 

He stated that “students should not experience changes to their parking spots or designated parking areas and our current plans are focused on limiting any impact to resident student parking.”

The North Benson Road entrance, DeAngelis states, will be the main entrance used for fans attending an event at Mahoney Arena. Additional plans include closing other gates on campus while fans are arriving in order to streamline the parking process, but this information will be communicated in advance. 

Leo D. Mahoney Arena will officially open on Nov. 18 at 10 a.m. for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Later that evening, at 7 p.m., the women’s basketball team will face off against Stonehill College in the first game ever played at the new arena. 

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