Towson University, located in the suburbs of Baltimore, now boasts over 20,000 students and is expecting a 25% increase in enrollment by 2025. The college’s rapid growth in recent years has prompted a need for the campus to renovate and expand.
Towson’s athletic program had benefitted from the university’s sudden spike in popularity and new students, but the aged facilities were holding people back from attending games. We set out to design a state-of-the-art arena that met NCAA Division I requirements and would also be suitable for large spectator events including commencement ceremonies and music concerts. The new arena is now also home to the Baltimore Blast, an professional indoor soccer team.
Our team’s first challenge was determining the size of the indoor stadium. After analyzing the data associated with Towson’s steady growth, it became imperative for the design to accommodate current and future volumes.
The design team, in association with Sasaki Associates, determined that the SECU Arena should be a 172,000 sf, approximately 55,000 sf of which is renovated space and the remaining 117,000 sf is new expansion. The basketball arena itself features 5,200 spectator seats, four private club suites, 340 premium club level seats, and 104 courtside seats. The building also contains a practice facility, multiple flexible program spaces, an upgraded technology system and a spacious, innovative lobby.
Adjacent to the football stadium, SECU becomes the backdrop for nationally televised events in the open air stadium as well. The outcome has been greater attendance at home games, and the facility has become a strong recruiting tool as well as a community resource for the greater Towson area.