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Breslin Center slated to undergo $50M upgrade

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

East Lansing – The MSU Board of Trustees on Friday approved a $50 million upgrade to the Breslin Student Events Center, home of Michigan State men's and women's basketball.

The project will begin in January and be completed by June 2018. Of the $50 million, $30 million will be provided by the university and $20 million will come from the athletic department.

"The opportunity to be involved with a facility project that has a positive and direct impact on our student-athletes and the entire university community is exciting," athletics director Mark Hollis said. "While the Breslin Center project addresses a number of issues related to the building's operations, it will greatly enhance the experience for those attending any of its events.

"The ability to showcase our university and basketball programs' history will be one of the key and noticeable features once the project is complete. In addition, former and current student-athletes will have an opportunity to prepare in one of the nation's finest basketball complexes."

At the project's center is the construction of a 26,000-square-foot addition that will house the MSU Basketball Hall of History. Located on the southeast side of the Breslin Center, the hall will highlight team and individual accomplishments of the men's and women's basketball programs.

Below will be the Draymond Green Strength and Conditioning Center, as well as a locker room for former MSU student-athletes. Green, who plays for the Golden State Warriors, played at Michigan State through 2011. He recently donated $3.1 million to the basketball program, part of which will go toward the $20 million being provided by the athletic department.

The renovation will also include expanding and improving concession areas and concourses; improving bathroom facilities; upgrading passenger and freight elevators; and improving exterior entrances and parking lots.

"The Hall of History will be an amazing addition to the Breslin Center," men's basketball coach Tom Izzo said. "Michigan State has a rich basketball tradition and this will be the perfect way in which to display it to Spartan fans, alumni, and recruits. The technology involved will allow for great flexibility and ensure that the displays are current. The Breslin Center is already one of the great home court advantages in college basketball, and this will only serve to improve the overall fan experience.

"The Draymond Green Strength and Conditioning Center and the new one-of-a-kind locker room for Spartan pros are also great additions and signs of our commitment to our student-athletes both during their time at Michigan State and even once they move on in life. They will always have a home at MSU.

"What excites me about these renovations is that there really is something for everyone. Jaws will drop when fans enter the Hall of History. Current student-athletes will benefit from the new weight room. Former players will enjoy a locker room reserved just for them. And the entire package should really excite recruits. I can't wait to see the finished product."

Said women's coach Suzy Merchant, "First and foremost, I'd like to extend my appreciation for Coach Izzo's vision and plan for improvement for both programs. There's no question that the addition of some of these enhancements will have a direct impact on MSU basketball. It's exciting to know that the Hall of History will be the first thing that people will have the opportunity to experience, especially with all the success of both basketball teams. The addition of the weight room for our student-athletes, as well as the recruiting room that will overlook the concourse into Breslin, will give both programs the opportunity to continue to recruit the highest level of student-athlete.

"Recruiting is constantly changing, and it is important to stay connected with what is out there in terms of where we are and where we need to go as a program. I'm really excited about the future improvements to the Breslin Center as they will continue to help MSU basketball succeed at such a high level."