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Missouri State University President Michael Nietzel announced that Missouri State alumnus and Springfield-based developer John Q. Hammons is making a major gift to the university. Missouri State plans to use this gift from Hammons to build the $60 million JQH Arena. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.
Missouri State University President Michael Nietzel announced today that Missouri State alumnus and Springfield-based developer John Q Hammons is making a major gift to the university.
Missouri State plans to use this gift from Hammons to build the 60 million dollar JQH Arena.
It will be the new home of the Missouri State University Bears and Lady Bears beginning in November, 2008.
The arena will feature a minimum of 12 thousand chair-back seats, 20 private boxes, and a private club.
It will be located just east of Hammons Student Center, on the site of what's currently a parking lot.
Construction will begin this fall and will be completed in time for the opening of the 2008-2009 season.
University officials made the announcement today in Hammons Student Center, standing on a new floor that was installed Tuesday.
Missouri State Athletics Director Bill Rowe became emotional as he recalled that years ago, he asked the crowd at Hammons Student Center to sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame...It was a time when the university was trying to get Hammons to build a new baseball park.
Mike Franks, president of the Missouri State Board of Governors echoed those sentiments.
He credited Hammons with having the vision to bring a new arena to campus.
Hammons himself made some brief remarks at today's announcement.
He told the crowd of about 250 people that what prompted him to move ahead with his gift was last year's name change which removed the regional designation from the university's name.
The commissioner of the Missouri Valley Conference, Doug Elgin was at today's announcement.
He says the new arena will help distinguish Missouri State.
While a new facility will have clear benefits for student athletes, Missouri State University President Michael Nietzel says it will benefit all students.
Community leaders were at the announcement...Greene County Presiding Commissioner Dave Coonrod says it will have a positive impact on the entire community.
The vice president of University advancement has confirmed that John Q. Hammons' gift of $25 million is be far the largest single gift ever made to the university and its foundation.