New York

Villanova Gets $22.6M Gift for Pavillion Face-Lift

Just call it another big win for the Villanova basketball program. The national champion Wildcats have received a $22.6 million donation to renovate their arena.

Bill Finneran made the largest athletic gift in Villanova history to give the Pavilion a needed face-lift and it also will go toward overall support of the men's program.

Finneran is a 1963 Villanova alumnus and chairman and co-founder of EXOP Capital, a long/short hedge fund firm in New York.

The Pavilion opened in 1986 and serves as the home arena for the men's and women's basketball programs. It's also home for other varsity and intramural sports.

The 6,500-seat venue is more of a super-sized YMCA rather than a state-of-the art arena. There are sparse concession stands and restrooms and no true suites and other high-end amenities.

Courtside seats are filled with aging, deep-pocketed alumni instead of passionate students that would create a big-game atmosphere.

Villanova says planning phases for the Pavilion renovation will begin immediately and continue throughout 2016.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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