October 4, 2004

Spanos gives lead gift for Sac State Recreation Center

Artist rendering of the Recreation, Wellness and Events Center
Artist rendering of the Recreation,
Wellness and Events Center

A $10 million commitment by real estate developer and San Diego Chargers owner Alex G. Spanos and his wife, Faye, will serve as the cornerstone donation for the remodeling of Hornet Stadium and the construction of a planned $73 million Recreation, Wellness and Events Center at California State University, Sacramento. University President Alexander Gonzalez announced the gift, the largest ever to Sacramento State, this afternoon during his inauguration address.

The plan for the Recreation, Wellness and Event Center passed a referendum vote of the students in April 2004 with a pledge from Gonzalez that he would raise $23 million toward the building. Student fees have increased $10 per semester, and once the University raises its portion, student fees for the Center will increase to $110 per semester.

The proposed 236,000 square-foot multi-purpose Center will be integrated with simultaneous upgrades to Hornet Stadium to make a unique, top-notch University athletic facility. This signature building is envisioned to include a new student health center, fitness center, rock-climbing wall, swimming pool, athletic courts, bowling center, conference center and 8,000-seat arena for events such as commencement and intercollegiate athletics.

Artist rendering of the Recreation, Wellness and Events Center
Artist rendering of the Recreation,
Wellness and Events Center

Sacramento State’s Hornet Gym – home to the University’s intercollegiate basketball, volleyball and gymnastics, as well as recreational sports – is one of the two smallest basketball facilities in the Big Sky Conference.

Spanos and his family enterprises are well-known throughout the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys. A native of Stockton, Spanos left the family baking business to found and become the chairman of the highly successful A.G. Spanos Companies.

Spanos is known for his philanthropy and has already contributed more than $1 million for improvements to the track facilities at Sacramento State that allowed the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials to be held on the campus in 2000 and 2004.

He has made numerous donations to educational facilities throughout the state from an elementary school sports field, to his alma mater Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and the University of California San Diego.

In his autobiography, Spanos outlines his lifelong credo of giving back to the communities in which he has had success. He and his wife have been married 55 years and have four adult children.

Gonzalez, who made the surprise announcement during his inaugural address which laid out a vision for the University, said “This gift allows us to go forward with what will be a landmark facility for our students and for this community. By his generosity, he has led the way for others in the community to help us make our dream a reality.

“His strong support of this University is deeply gratifying and we are honored by his decision to contribute in this way.”

Details of the arrangement will be announced at a news conference later this month.

For media assistance, contact public affairs at (916) 278-6156.

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