Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse was the on-campus home of the Saint Joseph's Hawks for close to 60 years and served as the cornerstone for the rich tradition of Saint Joseph's basketball. The Fieldhouse is currently undergoing a comprehensive renovation and expansion project, that began in the Spring of 2008. When the facility reopens, it will be named the Michael J. Hagan '85 Arena.
Because of the renovation project, the Saint Joseph's men's basketball team will play its 2008-09 home games at The Palestra, while the women's basketball team will use the Gallagher Center at Philadelphia University. Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse was named for Saint Joseph's graduates who gave their lives in World War II. The building was dedicated on November 11, 1949, and 15 days later hosted its first basketball game, a 62-46 loss to Rhode Island.
Overall, the men's basketball owns a stellar 319-82 record (.795 winning percentage) on Hawk Hill. Among the highlights are a 34-game winning streak from the late 1950s to the early 1960s, an 11-0 record in 2000-01, and another 11-0 mark as the Hawks completed a perfect regular season in 2003-04 behind consensus Player of the Year Jameer Nelson and consensus Coach of the Year Phil Martelli.
For much of the 1980s and 1990s, the Fieldhouse was the practice home of the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers. This was a natural extension of a legacy in which Saint Joseph's products - George Senesky '43, Dr. Jack Ramsay '49, Jack McKinney '57, Paul Westhead '61, Jim Lynam '63, Matt Goukas '66, and Jim O'Brien '74 - would become head coaches in the NBA.
Women's basketball came to the Fieldhouse as a Division I program in 1973. In 35 seasons, the women's team has compiled a gaudy 331-116 record (.740 winning percentage) on its home floor. Former Hawk players and coaches include Theresa Grentz, Rene Muth Portland, Jim Foster, Muffet McGraw O'Brien `77, and Geno Auriemma.
An historic basketball arena, the 3,200-seat Fieldhouse has hosted more than 125 sellouts over the last 15 seasons. Excitement was at a fever pitch in 2003-04 as crowds watched the Hawks make their historic run to a number one ranking. The Fieldhouse has played an even larger role in the University's history. Major events such as Commencement, the Hand-in-Hand Festival, and the annual Martin Luther King Day celebration have been held in the building, along with the centennial celebration of the College in 1951. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke at the Fieldhouse in 1967.
Yet it is the passion of Hawk fans that stands as the greatest legacy of Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse. In 2003, Sports Illustrated listed "The 100 Things You Have to Do Before You Graduate." Ranked No. 12 was: "Go to a Saint Joseph's basketball game and shout `The Hawk Will Never Die' -- the most defiant cheer in college sports."
FIELDHOUSE EXPANSION AND RENOVATION
MICHAEL J. HAGAN '85 ARENA
As the home of the Hawks, the Fieldhouse is the well-loved shrine and the very heart of Saint Joseph's athletics. With Faith and Strength to Dare: The Campaign for Saint Joseph's University will preserve this storied facility while bringing the athletic complex to a level befitting such a venerable tradition.
The Fieldhouse, home to Saint Joseph's University basketball since 1949, will be named for Michael J. Hagan '85 at the conclusion of the multi-year project, which began in the fall of 2007.
Because of the Maguire Campus acquisition, the vast needs of the University's intramural program and several varsity sports will finally be addressed, creating an opportunity to dramatically improve the infrastructure for men's and women's basketball.
SJU Basketball Center: The first stage is the construction of a two-story, 20,000-square-foot new wing adjacent to the existing Fieldhouse. It will add state-of-the-art locker rooms for players, expanded coaches' offices, conference rooms, academic and video study space, and a new Athletic Hall of Fame Room.
Upgrades and Renovation: Additionally, an upgrade and renovation of the current athletic complex will be completed by adding a dedicated practice facility with permanent wood flooring as well as locker rooms and offices for soccer, lacrosse, track, and cross country.
The Michael J. Hagan '85 Arena: The cornerstone of the project is the complete overhaul of the interior of the Fieldhouse, to be named the Michael J. Hagan '85 Arena, followed by the construction of an upper-level concourse, expanded seating (a minimum of 1,000 seats will be added), and more. Home court advantage will be secured, and the Hawks will have a true home where the Saint Joseph's athletic tradition will live for years to come.
Directions To Alumni Memorial FieldhouseFrom the North: NJ Turnpike to Exit 6 (PA Turnpike connector). Follow PA Turnpike to Exit 20 (Rt. 476). Follow 476 South to Rt. 76 East, towards Philadelphia. Follow Rt. 76 East to Exit 339 (Rt. 1 South, City Avenue). Turn left on 54th Street and turn right into parking lot. Fieldhouse is on the left. From the East: Take either the Ben Franklin Bridge (via Rt. 676) or the Walt Whitman Bridge: Follow Rt. 76 West to Exit 339 (Rt. 1 South, City Avenue). Turn left on 54th Street and then right into parking lot. Fieldhouse is on the left. From the South: I-95 North to 476 North. Follow 476 North to Exit 5 (Rt. 1). Follow Rt. 1 North to SJU, approximately 10 miles. Turn right on 54th Street and turn right into parking lot. Fieldhouse is on the left. From the West: PA Turnpike to Exit 326 (Valley Forge). Follow Rt. 76 East, towards Philadelphia, to Exit 339 (Rt. 1 South, City Avenue). Turn left on 54th Street and turn right into parking lot. Fieldhouse on the left. From the Airport: I-95 North to Rt. 76 West. Follow Rt. 76 West to Exit 339 (Rt. 1 South, City Avenue). Turn left on 54th Street and turn right into parking lot. Fieldhouse is on the left.