University of Dayton rededicates UD Arena in pregame ceremony

Three-year, $76.2 million renovation celebrated before season opener

Fifty years after UD Arena opened and three years after the start of the biggest renovation project in University of Dayton history, the building was rededicated Saturday in a pregame ceremony before the season opener against Indiana State.

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Here’s how UD honored the moment:

• Prior to the arena ceremony, UD held a moment of silence for Dayton police Det. Jorge Del Rio, who died Thursday after being shot twice Monday. A public visitation will be held at the arena on Monday.

• Members of the 1969-70 team, the first team to play at the arena, walked onto the court together. Among the players were leading scorers Ken May and George Janky.

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• Rev. James Fitz asked everyone in the sold-out crowd of 13,407 to bow their heads and read a pregame blessing of the arena.

• The family of the late Tom Frericks, the athletic director who was most responsible for getting UD Arena built in the 1960s, was honored on the court.

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• A video on the scoreboard featured Don Donoher, Dayton’s winningest coach. He walks toward the camera and says, “Flyer Nation, are you ready?”

• The surprise element of the opening ceremony was the new video projection onto Tom Blackburn Court. Cameras on the ceiling allow Dayton to play video over the length of the court, and the names of the starters were also displayed in large letters.

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