UC San Diego officially opened its new Alex G. Spanos Athletic Performance Center Wednesday with several members of the Spanos family alongside many Triton student-athletes and coaches at the ribbon cutting ceremony.
The $4.3 million, state-of-the-art center on the northwest side of campus, named in honor of the Spanos family patriarch, was made possible by a lead gift of $500,000 from Dean Spanos, chairman of the board of the San Diego Chargers, and his family.
“For me and my family, it is special to have a building so beautiful that honors our grandfather and also continues his legacy of supporting UC San Diego,” said John Spanos, President of Football Operations for the Chargers.
The Alex G. Spanos Athletic Performance Center includes 6,700 square feet of new floor space as well as a renovation of the existing Alex G. Spanos Training Facility, combining for 12,000 square feet. It features zones for strength and conditioning and athletic training/rehabilitation, as well as an outdoor conditioning plaza, offices and a conference room.
Specific amenities include 15 Hammer Strength Power Racks, Keiser Functional Trainers, Tendo units, Wattbikes, a 12-person hydro tub and an AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill.
“The new facility will allow us to be more efficient with the way we train student-athletes,” said Myles Cooper, the Director of Strength and Conditioning at UC San Diego. “It was designed to have multiple teams training at one time, with each having its own work space. In addition to the space, our new pieces of technology will ensure we are developing the correct physical qualities at the appropriate time of the season.”
The Alex G. Spanos Athletic Performance Center will benefit the UC San Diego community as a whole by improving access to strength and conditioning equipment. Prior to its opening, apparatus located at RIMAC was shared by all users. The new facility will be accessible to all students and UC San Diego Recreation Card holders during scheduled open recreation hours.
The center will also serve as an important tool in recruiting outstanding talent to an NCAA program well-known for its proud tradition of academic and athletic excellence.
“This facility will help us in a number of ways,” said Earl Edwards, UC San Diego's Director of Athletics. “One of the things we try to do at UC San Diego is separate ourselves by having things that are different, whether it is the academic prowess, facilities or outstanding coaches. Clearly, this facility will separate us from the schools that we compete against.”
The Spanos family’s support of UC San Diego Athletics is long-running. For many years, the San Diego Chargers had an agreement to use UC San Diego for their annual training camp. In 1988, Chargers owner Alex Spanos offered to construct and donate a locker room and training facility, an in-kind donation that was valued at $1.1 million and recognized with the naming of the Alex G. Spanos Training Facility.
“Our grandfather was always a huge fan of sports and athletics," said John Spanos. "Growing up, he was never able to participate in sports. He came from really humble beginnings and when he was a kid, everyday before and after school he would have to work. He didn’t have the time or the means to participate. He's always tried whatever he could to help support athletics and do whatever he can to give others that opportunity that he never had.”
Collectively, the Spanoses have given more to UC San Diego’s intercollegiate athletics program than any other family or single donor, with gifts totaling more than $1.6 million.
“I know that he (Alex G. Spanos) is not here today at this event, but he is very happy with this building,” continued Spanos. “He is excited about this building and what it is going to provide for the student-athletes here. On behalf of my entire family, I just want to say thank you again to everyone who made this happen. We’re just happy to be able to support UCSD and—go Tritons!”
Ground was officially broken on the Alex G. Spanos Athletic Performance Center in June of 2015. See more photos of the project and opening here.