Fairfield University Names New $51 Million On-Campus Facility the Leo D. Mahoney Arena

Fairfield University Names New $51 Million On-Campus Facility the Leo D. Mahoney Arena

Signature gift—the single largest by an alumna in the University’s history— leads the way.

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

External image of the Leo D. Mahoney Area letters on building

Fairfield University President Mark R. Nemec, PhD today announced that the University’s new 85,000-square foot arena will be named the Leo D. Mahoney Arena. The new arena which will officially open in November, replaces the institution's long-standing landmark Alumni Hall.

A leadership gift by Fairfield University Board of Trustee Shelagh Mahoney-McNamee ’87 will have a significant impact on the University’s Athletic programs and the student experience on campus. This signature gift is the single largest by an alumna in the University’s history.

“This historic gift and naming of Fairfield’s new Arena is a significant milestone as the University continues its rise as an institution of national prominence, and a model of the modern, Jesuit Catholic university,” said Nemec. “Our rise has been predicated on a commitment to our core values, and this building will carry forward our commitment to cura personalis—in the spirit of our tradition — serving the life of the mind, body, and spirit of our students and community. This moment is filled with immense gratitude and personifies the commitment and caring of our Fairfield family.”

“It is an honor to be a part of this new chapter in Fairfield’s history,” said Mahoney-McNamee. “I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to my alma mater, that has given me so much both personally and professionally, and to honor my father, with this dedication. This new arena will be a hub of Stag spirit and tradition, school engagement and lifelong memories for the entire University community. GO STAGS!”

Leo D. Mahoney and his loving wife of 46 years, Joan E. Mahoney, were the children of Irish immigrants and did not attend college themselves. Leo and Joan’s 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. Fairfield held a special place in their hearts as they watched their children develop into the people they are today. In the early 1990’s Leo sat on the Fairfield University Trustees Advisory Council. Leo was the President and co-founder of one of the largest suppliers of road salt in the northeastern United States. Beginning in the early 1950s with a single contract for salt with the City of Lowell, the business grew steadily over the next 60 years. Leo actively engaged his children in his philanthropic and business endeavors. He took pleasure in passing along the lessons learned, especially the importance of making decisions with your heart. Leo was active in the company until the time of his death always stopping by the office after daily Mass to work with his daughter, Shelagh Mahoney, who is now President of his companies. While Leo always enjoyed the give and take of business, he was happiest spending time with friends and family and especially his cherished grandchildren; Molly McNamee Cary, Sean McNamee, Michael McNamee, Leo McNamee, Kate McNamee, James Finneral, Grace Finneral, and Finn Mahoney.

His daughter Shelagh is a Fairfield University alumna, Board of Trustee member and supporter of Fairfield University. Shelagh and her husband Joe McNamee are the happy parents of five children, all of whom have received Jesuit educations: two current Fairfield University students, two Fairfield University alumni, one Boston College alum, and parents-in-law to one Fairfield University alum.

“This extraordinary gift, coupled with support from many Fairfield alumni, parents and friends, has inspired our community,” said Vice President for University Advancement Wally Halas. “The Fairfield family is among the most thoughtful and generous in the nation.”

The new venue is an 85,000-square foot, 3,500-seat multi-use space for basketball and volleyball games, University events, and concerts. The $51 million project will be 100 percent donor-funded.

Season tickets for the 2022-23 Fairfield Men's and Women's Basketball season are now on sale at FairfieldStags.com/TIX. All tickets for the 2022-23 Fairfield Basketball season will be digital and fans will have access to an online account to manage tickets throughout the season.

The Fairfield Women’s Basketball program will open the 2022-23 season against Stonehill College in Mahoney Arena on Friday, November 18 and play the University of Michigan at home two days later, on Sunday, November 20. 

The Fairfield Men’s Basketball program will play their first game in Mahoney Arena on Saturday, December 3 against Saint Peter’s University.

Information regarding opening events for both programs will be announced at a later date.

For additional questions regarding arena ticket sales please contact, Joe Cappucci'19, director of ticket sales and service at joseph.cappucci@fairfield.edu or call 203-254-4335.

Posted On: September 28, 2022

Volume: 54 Number: 23

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.