Spring 2020 Issue

Game Changer

New William & Mary Athletics Complex

By William & Mary Athletics

Just months after William & Mary Athletics released its new strategic plan, a bold future is already underway that will transform the game-day experience for the entire William & Mary community.

On Feb. 1, the university announced plans for a $57-million reimagined William & Mary Athletics Complex that will enable student-athletes in all 23 varsity sports to raise their athletics experiences to the caliber and prominence of their academic experiences.

Largely funded through private support, approximately $41 million has been committed to date through philanthropy and other sources. The majority of funds have been provided by leadership gifts from Katie Garrett Boehly ’95 and Todd Boehly ’96, as well as Jennifer Tepper Mackesy ’91 and D. Scott Mackesy ’91.

“Katie, Todd, Jen and Scott helped us take the long view in this exciting initiative. We are grateful for their generosity and vision,” says President Katherine Rowe. “The complex will stand as a symbol of excellence. It highlights the university’s commitment to athletics as an integral part of the learning experience.”

“The Boehlys and Mackesys fully understand the value of investing in the whole student experience. Kaplan Arena is a crossroads for campus and community. This renovation will help grow the sense of community in and around our campus and strengthens our national reputation,” Rowe adds.

The complex encompasses Kaplan Arena, a new state-of-the-art Sports Performance Center adjacent to the arena, the Millie West Tennis Facility, Busch Field and the Tribe Field Hockey Center. The project will include approximately 167,000 square feet of renovated and new spaces. Construction is expected to begin this winter and conclude in fall 2022.

“We have so much to be proud of as part of the William & Mary community,” says Katie Boehly. “Once complete, the complex will underscore the university’s commitment to being recognized for its academics and athletics.”

“Athletics is an integral part of the educational experience at William & Mary,” says Todd Boehly, alumnus and former member of the Tribe’s wrestling team. “Transforming this space for students, coaches and fans reflects the university’s commitment to advancing student-athlete opportunities and winning together as a community.”

Kaplan Arena first opened its doors in 1971 and has since been the home to William & Mary Athletics. The men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and gymnastics teams have competed in the arena for decades. All of William & Mary’s nearly 500 student-athletes utilize the locker rooms, strength and conditioning and sports medicine facilities.

The overhaul will include a new entrance and lobby, an enhanced student section with a lounge that all students can use throughout the year, upgraded spectator seating, as well as a new academic center. The project also includes a state-of-the-art scoreboard and ribbon boards featuring video replay capabilities and new sound system, and improvements to concession stands, bathrooms and locker rooms, among other priority areas.

The 36,000-square-foot, multi-use Sports Performance Center will feature a strength and conditioning area, including two hydrotherapy pools, and a sports medicine space with ample room to evaluate and treat sports injuries. The center will also provide the basketball and volleyball teams with a new practice area housing a full-sized court.

“A central tenet of our philanthropy is to support the pursuit of excellence and this project underscores our enthusiasm for the future of William & Mary Athletics,” says Scott Mackesy.

Scott and Jen Mackesy were both student-athletes at William & Mary. A two-time CAA Player of the Year, Scott was named to the tennis league’s Silver Anniversary squad as one of the all-time top 25 players in league history. Jen made four appearances in the NCAA Championships in her time with the women’s soccer program from 1987 to 1990.

As stated in the Athletics strategic plan, the infrastructure of the Millie West Tennis Facility courts needs to be enhanced to improve the player experience. Additional funds will be allocated to the resurfacing and stabilization of current courts, the addition of new courts and installation of upgraded fan seating.

The Dillard Practice Facility — currently utilized by the soccer and lacrosse teams — will also be enhanced and expanded from funds committed by the Mackesys. The facility will see a new turf practice field and improvements to the grass field.

“We have incredible student-athletes, coaches and fans at William & Mary. We recognize the important role that private support plays in our teams’ ability to compete at the highest level,” says Jen Mackesy. “We hope this gift will energize our amazing fans by enhancing their experience, further contributing to the success of William & Mary Athletics.”

“The Athletics Complex will serve as a beacon for those who want to come to William & Mary to achieve their full potential as a competitor and will be a point of pride for the broader university community,” says Director of Athletics Samantha K. Huge. “We are boldly moving forward with the priorities set forth in our strategic plan and helping all of our student athletes flourish. We are all very thankful to the Boehlys and Mackesys for bringing entrepreneurial thinking to this effort and for lending their vision to Athletics.”

For more information about the complex and to support the project, visit www.tribeathletics.com/wmcomplex.