A new fan-friendly 10,600-seat arena, designed by Mackey Mitchell with Denver-based Sink Combs Dethlefs, provides an exciting new venue for SLU's men's and women's basketball and volleyball teams. Combining state-of-the-art amenities along with numerous environmental design features, the $70 million multi-purpose Chaifetz Arena also accommodates large-scale concerts, creating excitement in the heart of mid-town St. Louis as well as on Saint Louis University's campus. At night, the well-lit concourse highlights activities and movement within.
Serving as an anchor to the Southeast corner of Saint Louis University, the design team wanted a building that would complement the campus while presenting a civic face to general traffic along Interstate 64. To avoid a maze-like experience, the arena features a single concourse surrounded by glass, giving spectators a strong sense of orientation with views to the Gateway Arch, a major interstate, nearby campus athletic fields, and indoor practice courts. Solid brick corners, or bastions, handle mechanical and structural elements. The design provides easy egress, wayfinding and orientation, and creates a sense of energy by providing visitors with an immediate view into the bowl.
Known as the "Jewel of Midtown," the award-winning Chaifetz arena is nestled into the surrounding landscape and provides a more intimate venue than most comparably sized arenas. With the event floor at 25 feet below grade, the building sits comfortably within its surrounding context. The single concourse and fan-friendly setup was designed to make Chaifetz Arena a "comfortable place to host an event," said Denise Taylor, SLU's former associate vice president for facilities planning. "You don't feel like you're in a maze." At night, the concourse lighting glows like a lantern, highlighting the activities and movement within. Visitors are engaged even before they enter the building.
Passion + Perspective
Chaifetz Arena is one of the best 10,000+ seat arenas in the country. It’s a good example of a successful collaboration among the architect, operator, contractor and owner with a common goal to provide a first class sports and entertainment arena.
- Dan Rubino
Director of Projects, Global Spectrum