Save Mart Center, 2009
|Location||2650 East Shaw Avenue|
Fresno, California 93710
|Owner||California State University, Fresno|
|Capacity||Basketball - 15,596|
Boxing - 16,182
Concerts - 16,182
Ice Events - 14,224
Hockey - 14,224
Rodeo - 12,368
Wrestling - 16,182
|Broke ground||May 8, 2001|
|Opened||November 27, 2003|
|Construction cost||$103 million|
($143 million in 2019 dollars)
|Architect||Sink Combs Dethlefs|
|Project manager||International Facilities Group|
|Structural engineer||John A. Martin & Associates|
|Services engineer||M-E Engineers, Inc.|
|General contractor||Clark Construction Group Inc.|
|Fresno State Bulldogs (NCAA) (2003-present)|
Fresno Falcons (ECHL) (2003-2008)
Save Mart Center at Fresno State is a multi-purpose arena, on the campus of California State University, Fresno (Fresno State), located in Fresno, California. An open house was held for the community on November 5, 2003, with the official ribbon cutting following on November 27, 2003. It is home to the Fresno State Bulldogs men's and women's basketball teams, women's volleyball team and wrestling team.
Financing for the project was provided through revenue, from corporate sponsorships, private gifts, leasing of luxury suites, sale of club seating and personal seat licenses, as well as revenue from advertising and signage agreements.
Save Mart Center encompasses approximately 40,000 m² (430,000 ft²) on three primary levels; an event level and two concourses, plus a club level mezzanine. The facility includes 32 revenue-generating suites and eight party suites, located on the main concourse level. Seating capacities are approximately 15,596 for basketball, 14,224 for hockey, 8,000 for half-house concerts, 15,500 for end-stage concerts, and 18,000 for center-stage concerts.
The arena's main exterior landmark is the 37 m (93 ft) Larry A. Shehadey Clock Tower. 13 stories in-all, it was named for the founder of Producers Dairy Foods, a Fresno-based dairy company, who donated US$3 million towards construction. The lobby at the arena's southeast entrance is named after Shehadey's late wife, Elayne Shehadey.
The majority of the funding for the facility came from two sources. Save Mart Supermarkets paid US$40 million for 20 years naming rights, and the Pepsi Bottling Group paid a similar sum for exclusive, indefinite beverage dispensing rights. Total construction costs exceeded US$100 million and when completed, represented the largest privately funded complex of any university in the United States.
The Bulldog Foundation donated money for the following amenities at Save Mart Center:
This is our mascot and he ain't no hound.
He's an English bull and weighs lots of pounds
He's got two rows of teeth and a terrible frown
Hey, nobody's kicking our dog around!!!
Several major entertainers have performed at the venue including Beyoncé, Carrie Underwood, AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, Eagles, Paul McCartney, The Who, Billy Joel, Madonna, Prince, Jonas Brothers, Maná, Miley Cyrus, Drake, Bruno Mars, Hannah Montana, Britney Spears, Shania Twain, Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, Kelly Clarkson, Chris Brown, Gwen Stefani, Miranda Lambert, Jordin Sparks, Justin Bieber, Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley, Little Big Town, Jay Z, Florida Georgia Line, Bon Jovi, Andrea Bocelli, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Twenty One Pilots, Blake Shelton, Garth Brooks, Janet Jackson, Foo Fighters, Metallica, & many others. The arena has also played host to music festivals, including the Winter Jam Tour, the Vans Warped Tour & the Mayhem Festival.
Officials from the Fresno Falcons of the West Coast Hockey League announced on March 18, 2002, that the Falcons would make Save Mart Center at Fresno State their home ice beginning with the 2003 season. The Western Athletic Conference men's basketball tournament was held at the center in 2004, as well as WWE's Royal Rumble 2005 and WWE Live Events, including ECW/SmackDown 6/30/09 where 3 superstars made their debut, including multiple time WWE Champion, Sheamus. Also, on Feb 17th, 2004, a SmackDown show featuring a newly crowned WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero, had his celebration ceremony at Save Mart Center, and was featured on WWE DVD "Legendary Moments".
Save Mart Center's first arena football game was held on July 19, 2008. The Central Valley Coyotes defeated the Boise Burn 55-50. Both teams were members of the now defunct AF2, the former developmental league for the Arena Football League.
Save Mart Center has hosted five NBA preseason games. The first game was in 2003-2004 when the Los Angeles Lakers hosted the Sacramento Kings; the Lakers defeated the Kings 105-80. The second was in 2004-2005 with the Sacramento Kings taking on the Phoenix Suns; the Suns defeated the Kings 100-88. The third was in 2005-2006 when the Lakers hosted the Utah Jazz; the Lakers defeated the Jazz 95-85. The Los Angeles Lakers hosted another game in the 2008 preseason against the Los Angeles Clippers, with the Clippers beating the Lakers 107-80. The Los Angeles Lakers hosted another game in the 2012 preseason against the Golden State Warriors, with the Warriors beating the Lakers 110-83.
Save Mart Center hosted an NHL preseason game on September 23, 2006. The San Jose Sharks took on the Anaheim Ducks, winning 4-3. Joe Thornton scored the game-winning goal for the Sharks; Anaheim went on to win its first Stanley Cup Championship later that season.
Save Mart Center hosted the Artur Beterbiev-Enrico Kölling boxing match for the IBF Light Heavyweight belt on November 11, 2017. It hosted the Jerwin Ancajas-Jonas Sultan boxing match for the IBF Super Flyweight belt on May 26, 2018. It hosted the boxing match between Jose Ramirez and Antonio Orozco for the WBC Junior Welterweight belt on September 14, 2018.
Save Mart Center hosted the Strikeforce: Tank vs. Buentello mixed martial arts (MMA) event on October 6, 2006. It hosted the inaugural ShoMMA on May 15, 2009. It hosted Bellator 125 on September 19, 2014, Bellator 148 on January 29, 2016 and Bellator 156 on June 17, 2016. It hosted UFC Fight Night 123 on December 9, 2017.
In March 2012, the Save Mart Center hosted the West Regional of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament. The Stanford Cardinal won the regional and advanced to the 2012 NCAA Women's Final Four.
Attendance for Bulldogs men's basketball has tailed off significantly since the early 2000s. In recent years, Fresno State has covered the upper level with a tarp. As a result, while Fresno State lists the official capacity for basketball as 15,596, the "actual" capacity is somewhat smaller.