SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College announced today (Monday, Nov. 17, 2014) its plans to build the Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium to house a new basketball/volleyball arena, locker rooms and other facilities. The facility will be adjacent to the north end of Gibbs Stadium, where the Terriers play football.

Wofford alumnus and trustee Jerry Richardson ’59 provided the gift to fund the 110,000-square-foot facility that will include a 3,400-seat basketball arena and a 500-seat volleyball competition venue. The facility will replace Benjamin Johnson Arena, which will continue to be used as a first-rate facility for intramural and campus recreational activities.

Construction on the facility begins in the fall of 2015 with the opening date slated for September 2017.

The announcement comes less than a month after the college announced that Richardson would fund the Rosalind S. Richardson Center for the Arts to house academic programs in theatre arts, visual arts and art history.

“It truly has been an exciting few weeks for Wofford College, and we are so grateful for Jerry Richardson making two major gifts to the college to make two major elements of our recently adopted strategic vision a reality – our Rosalind S. Richardson Center for the Arts and now the Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium,” Wofford President Nayef H. Samhat says. “This new arena will provide our women’s and men’s basketball and volleyball teams with a state-of-the-art facility in which to showcase their talents and host their opponents. It will be a gem that will shine for decades to come.” “I was so fortunate to have built so many great friendships while I was a student at Wofford, and those friendships have led directly to the success I have enjoyed,” says Richardson, founder and owner of the Carolina Panthers, who played football for the Terriers. “Without Wofford’s influence on my life, I would not have been able to achieve everything I have. It is important to me to give back to my alma mater for all that it and the relationships I built here have given to me and my family.” 

Harold Chandler, chairman of the Wofford Board of Trustees, says, “For a second time in less than a month, we are experiencing one of Wofford’s greatest moments. We are seeing leadership at its highest level. To Jerry and Rosalind Richardson, we sincerely thank them for their commitment to Wofford College and our inspiring vision of the future. This extraordinary facility will provide a classic venue for Wofford intercollegiate athletics, adding to the campus’s nationally recognized complex and enhancing Wofford’s ability to recruit enterprising and accomplished Division 1 student athletes. Also and importantly, students of all interests and talent who are seeking a special place that values a balanced academic-athletic experience will directly benefit from the ripple effect of this leadership decision by Mr. and Mrs. Richardson.”

Richard Johnson, director of athletics, says, “This is a transformative gift for Wofford College. Mr. Richardson’s four years at Wofford helped him become the leader he is today. With this gift, he is ensuring that future generations of student-athletes at Wofford will become the leaders of tomorrow.”

The Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium will serve as the home for women’s basketball, men’s basketball and volleyball.

Both women’s basketball and volleyball have fielded teams since 1980, while men’s basketball played its first game in 1906. The men’s team has had 47 winning seasons and was the Southern Conference champion in 2010, 2011 and 2014, putting the team in the NCAA Tournaments in those years, three of the past five years.

The teams currently play their home games in Benjamin Johnson Arena in the Campus Life Building, which opened in 1981. Previously, the men’s basketball team played in the gymnasium in the Andrews Field House from 1929 through 1980. Women’s basketball held its first season in 1980, playing in Andrews Field House until the Benjamin Johnson Arena opened in 1981.

“Words are not enough to describe my feelings,” says Mike Young, head men’s basketball coach. “This new facility will help propel the Wofford athletics program to new heights. While we have had tremendous success in the past few years, having this state-of-the-art facility on campus will be vital to future recruiting. My team can’t wait to make the Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium the best home court advantage in the nation.”

The Wofford volleyball team had its first season in the fall of 1980. Coach Ron Sweet adds, “What an incredible day for Wofford. Mr. Richardson has provided a gift that will enhance the basketball and volleyball programs here for years to come. We can’t be more appreciative and look forward to our first game in the new building.”

“This facility will be an incredible asset for Wofford College,” says Edgar Farmer, head coach of the women’s basketball team. “For our student-athletes to have a place like the Richardson Indoor Stadium to call home is going to be remarkable. We appreciate Mr. Richardson’s generosity and vision for the future of Wofford.”

The Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium will have a seating capacity for non-athletics functions, such as commencement and concerts, of 4,500. It will include home and visitor lockers for multiple sports, a state-of-the-art training room, coaches' offices and locker rooms and team meeting rooms. Other features include a video board and ribbon boards, plus designated areas specifically designed for students, fans, children and donors. Four open-air suites also are planned.