Outpouring of Stag Spirit Marks Mahoney Arena Grand Opening at Fairfield University

Outpouring of Stag Spirit Marks Mahoney Arena Grand Opening at Fairfield University

On Friday, Nov. 18, the Fairfield community celebrated the completion of the Leo D. Mahoney Arena and the "Return of Red Sea Madness" to Campus.

Media Contact: Susan M. Cipollaro, scipollaro@fairfield.edu, 203-254-4000 x2726

A “Red Sea” of more than 400 Fairfield University community members celebrated the long-awaited grand opening of the Leo D. Mahoney Arena. Doorbuster giveaways, a golden ticket challenge, Star 99.9, prizes, and treats from the Tasty Yolk highlighted the festivities.

Among the day’s speakers were FUSA President Jordan Gale ’23 and Vice President Aliyah Seenauth ’24; Rev. Keith Maczkiewicz, S.J.; Town of Fairfield First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick; Vice President for Athletics Paul Schlickmann; and University President Mark R. Nemec, PhD.

Schlickmann said it “[took] his breath away” to be standing in front of so many excited students and Fairfield community members. Gale was excited for all students to "come together once again as the Red Sea — being able to share Fairfield's school spirit with everyone. And we're excited to have a jam-packed student section in the arena, cheering on our Stags."

The Fairfield women’s basketball team played the first official game on the Mahoney Arena's hardwood court to open the 2022-23 season with a win over Stonehill College. The Stags will compete against nationally ranked Michigan on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 2pm. Prior to the game, the Stags will unveil their 2021-22 MAAC Championship banner.

The men’s basketball team will play their first game in the Arena on Saturday, December 3 against Saint Peter’s. 

The Leo D. Mahoney Arena, an 85,000-square foot, 3,500-seat multi-use space at the heart of Fairfield’s campus, is the new home of Stags basketball and volleyball, and will serve as a venue for University concerts and events. The $51 million project, which was 100 percent donor-funded, stands in the footprint of its predecessor, Alumni Hall. The arena was designed by Centerbrook Architects and Planners.

Mahoney Arena boasts a state-of-the-art broadcast and media center, luxury seating and lounge areas, and updated features that exemplify Fairfield’s modern campus. The main entrance leads fans to a spacious, open concourse level looking toward concessions, a beer garden, and access to seating that surrounds the court below. Above the concourse is a club area, The Diffley, featuring 172 cushioned chairback seats, a premium bar and a spacious lounge area, named in honor of Special Assistant to the President George Diffley, who served for 31 years as vice president for Advancement at Fairfield.

The lower (court) level houses amenities to support Stags student-athletes, including locker rooms, a film room, a team lounge, and a training room for taping, icing, and first aid operations.

The University partnered with industry leader Daktronics to design, manufacture and install 15 total LED displays for Mahoney Arena. The center-hung system is made up of nine displays—four main video displays, four corner wedges and a lower ring. A 360-degree ribbon display circles the seating section and, at court level, four scorers’ table displays have been installed.

Leo D. Mahoney and his loving wife of 46 years, Joan E. Mahoney, were the children of Irish immigrants. The Mahoneys belief in the importance of Jesuit education and their Catholic values led them to support all three of their children, Shelagh Mahoney ’87, Meghan Mahoney ’89, and Patrick Mahoney ‘93, in attending Fairfield University. In the early 1990’s Mahoney sat on the Fairfield University Trustees Advisory Council. He was the president and co-founder of one of the largest suppliers of road salt in the northeastern United States. Mahoney’s daughter, Fairfield alumna Shelagh Mahoney-McNamee, serves as president of his companies, is a Board of Trustee member and longtime supporter of Fairfield University. She and her husband Joe McNamee are the parents of five children, all of whom have received Jesuit educations.

Tickets for the 2022-23 Fairfield men's and women's basketball season are on sale at FairfieldStags.com/TIX. For questions regarding arena ticket sales email stagstickets@fairfield.edu or call 203-254-4136.

Posted On: November 18, 2022

Volume: 54 Number: 45

Fairfield University is a modern, Jesuit Catholic University, rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 36 states, 47 foreign countries, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are enrolled in the University’s five schools. In the spirit of rigorous and sympathetic inquiry into all dimensions of human experience, Fairfield welcomes students from diverse backgrounds to share ideas and engage in open conversations. The University is located in the heart of a region where the future takes shape, on a stunning campus on the Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.