USC upgrades basketball arena as part of athletic facility ‘grand vision’

February 13, 2024 / Athletic AdministrationFacilities
The University of Southern California (USC) has upgraded its men’s and women’s basketball arena, the Galen Center, as part of the athletic department’s vision for a renewed athletic campus.

As part of USC President Carol Folt’s strategic vision for USC athletic facilities, Galen Center received a face-lift in the offseason to enhance the game day experience of students, fans, donors and student-athletes.

A recent story from USC Today’s Grayson Schmidt detailed the upgrades to the Trojans’ basketball arena. Below is an excerpt from Schmidt’s story.

“When I announced the athletics ‘moonshot,’ I wanted to make sure that every single one of our teams — our women’s teams and our men’s teams — were able to compete at the level that they wanted to compete,” Folt said. “We wanted to create venues that would support them, give them the place to play and to practice, and for our crowds to come and appreciate all that they bring.”

Folt’s athletics moonshot aims to empower student-athletes to compete at the highest level athletically and academically.

“Galen Center was a big deal for our athletic department because it allowed our teams to practice where they were competing and truly have a home on campus,” said Paul Neidermire, general manager of the 17-year-old facility. “When the Galen Center opened, it was fabulous. It still is. However, it was feeling a little dated.”

One highlight of the Galen Center upgrades greets fans as soon as they walk through the doors. What was once a lobby with a few trophy cases and faded colors now features two 30-foot LED boards from floor to ceiling that can be customized for each of the sports played there: men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball.

“When you walked in, it looked very off the mid-2000s, and now it’s almost unrecognizable,” USC senior associate athletic director Jeff Fucci said. “The LED boards are completely customizable, so the sky’s the limit in terms of the creativity in that space.”

The space adjacent to the Hall of Champions — where there was once a team bookstore for Trojan merchandise — now houses the 3400 Lounge, a premium hospitality space for Galen Center guests.

“The 3400 Lounge is a really neat space that gives us the opportunity to host our guests in a way that we were never able to before at the Galen Center,” Neidermire said. “It’s a more intimate space with very premium offerings.”

The Galen Center Founders Club along the north entrance was also revamped with brand-new flooring, seats and TVs. The 8,000-square-foot hall features a patio with new furniture, bistro lighting and fire pits.

With new lighting along the concourse and updated graphics and signage, Fucci said Galen Center has a restored energy that can be felt no matter where fans are. Sporting 30-foot LED boards and large-scale illuminated “Fight On!” signage, the main entrances of Galen Center were redesigned much like those of a music festival — a space for social media-ready photo opportunities and fan engagement, Fucci said.

To read the full story from USC Today about the Trojans’ upgrades to its basketball arena, click here.