McCarthey Athletic Center Gonzaga University

Spokane, WA
Construction Cost: $23.77 million
Area / Square Feet: 6,000
Occupancy Date: October 2004

The product of the largest endowment and construction initiative in Gonzaga University’s 120-year history and the new home of Zags basketball, the McCarthey Athletic Center has “one of the better concourse spaces I’ve seen,” said one judge.

Perhaps that is because the daylit concourse, in addition to fulfilling its basic function of providing access to a number of concessions areas, affords Zags fans a pleasant environment in which to take a break from the action on the court. The concourse’s expansive glazing provides “wonderful visual connections with the campus,” according to another panelist. Gracious lobby spaces add to the venue’s intimacy.

Now well known as the little school that could, Gonzaga’s winning basketball tradition continues in an arena whose steeply raked seating bowl puts fans as close to the court as possible. Appropriately, this basketball Mecca of the Pacific Northwest retains the mystique of the Bulldogs’ old 2,000-seat gym, as well as its pet name: The Kennel.

Judge's Comments

The building’s massing has been carefully crafted to reduce its impact and to help it relate to nearby campus buildings.
— Darryl Condon

The scale of the entry and detail help give this spectator facility a smaller feel. I really like the concourse.
— J. Thomas Seymour

This is an impressive project, especially considering the relatively tight budget.
— Michael Woollen