EagleBank Arena

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EagleBank Arena
The then-Patriot Center west entrance in 2011.
Full name EagleBank Arena at George Mason University
Former names Patriot Center (1985–2015)
Location 4500 Patriot Circle
Fairfax, VA 22030
Coordinates 38°49′37″N 77°18′35″W / 38.82694°N 77.30972°W / 38.82694; -77.30972Coordinates: 38°49′37″N 77°18′35″W / 38.82694°N 77.30972°W / 38.82694; -77.30972
Owner George Mason University
Operator Monumental Sports & Entertainment
Capacity Basketball: 10,000
Surface Multi-surface
Broke ground 1982
Opened October 4, 1985[3]
Construction cost $16 million[1]
($35.2 million in 2015 dollars[2])
Architect HOK Sport
Mosley Architects
George Mason Patriots (NCAA) (1985–present)
Washington Commandos (AFL) (1990)

The EagleBank Arena (originally the Patriot Center) is a 10,000-seat arena in Fairfax, Virginia. The arena is home to the George Mason University basketball teams, as well as providing a venue for concerts and family shows, with the 17,000 square feet (1,600 m2) of space.[4]

It is located on the campus of George Mason University (which has over 30,000 students), and has attracted 9.6 million people to over 2,958 events. In 2010, the Patriot Center was ranked No. 7 nationwide and No. 12 worldwide according to ticket sales for venues with capacities between 10,001 and 15,000 by trade publication Venues Today. Also in 2010, the Patriot Center was ranked No. 8 nationwide and No. 18 worldwide according to top grossing venues with a capacity between 10,001 and 15,000 by Billboard magazine.[5] On May 7, 2015, George Mason University announced that the name would be changed on July 1 to "EagleBank Arena at George Mason University", following a partnership deal with EagleBank.[6][7]

The Patriot Center is the first university venue to be managed by a private company, Monumental Sports and Entertainment, who also owns and manages Verizon Center in Washington D.C.


Financing for the construction of the Patriot Center was part of GMU's revenue bond package approved by the Virginia General Assembly in 1982.[8][9]

The first use of the Patriot Center was GMU's graduation ceremonies in May 1985.[10] The official opening of the arena was on October 4, 1985, when the New York Knicks played the Washington Bullets in a pre-season game, debuting the first game of future Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Patrick Ewing. Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs also made his first professional appearance.[11]

In 1990, the NCAA Men’s Volleyball Championships were held at the Patriot Center.[12] In 1986, the Patriot Center hosted the first men’s CAA (Colonial Athletic Association) Tournament and hosted its first women’s CAA Tournament in 2005. The Patriots have amassed an overall record of 220–92 at the Patriot Center. The Patriots are also 85–10 in the Patriot Center against Colonial Athletic Association opponents. During the 2010–2011 men's NCAA basketball season, the Patriots amassed a perfect 13–0 home record, which was the second time that occurred in three seasons.

The arena underwent a $10 million renovation, completed in 2009, that added new concession stands, hospitality area, locker rooms and bathrooms, and an improved main concourse.

Management history[edit]

From its opening, the Patriot Center was managed by Abe Pollin's Washington Sports, later renamed to Washington Sports & Entertainment.[11] In May 1999, Pollin sold 40% of Washington Sports to a partnership led by Ted Leonsis as part of a $200 million deal that also saw Leonsis purchase the Washington Capitals hockey team.[13] Leonsis' group increased their ownership of Washington Sports to 44% when they bought out minority owner Arnold Heft in January 2000.[14]

Following Pollin's death in 2009, Leonsis purchased the rest of WSE from Pollin's heirs in 2010, and consolidated Washington Sports & Entertainment with his own Lincoln Holdings company to form Monumental Sports & Entertainment.[15][16] Management of the Patriot Center passed to this successor company.

Renovations and recent events[edit]

Inside before the Mason vs Bucknell game

On February 4, 2012, GMU men’s basketball team set an attendance record against Old Dominion University on homecoming, which then was reached again against James Madison University; both games were won by double digits. The Patriot Center also graduates many students of Northern Virginia high schools.

The Patriot Center hosted the sold-out UFC Fight Night: Maynard vs. Diaz on January 11, 2010. That was the first time that the UFC had staged an event in the state of Virginia.[17]

On February 4, 2012, the Patriot Center debuted a new center court scoreboard against conference rival Old Dominion University.[18]


Men's Basketball Game Attendance - 9,900 on February 4, 2012 vs Old Dominion University
Concert Attendance - Phish - 10,356
Grossing Concert - Bruce Springsteen in 2005, $573,885
Grossing Family Show - The Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey circus in 2009, $1.86 million


  1. ^ George Mason Timeline
  2. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  3. ^ "Knicks Lose in Ewing's Debut". Gainesville Sun. October 5, 1985. Retrieved February 15, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Patriot Center". George Mason University. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  5. ^ Staff (November 27, 2011). "Staff editorial: Rigging some revenue". Diamondback Online. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  6. ^ "George Mason Univ. sells naming rights to Patriot Center". WVIR. May 7, 2015. Retrieved May 7, 2015. 
  7. ^ "George Mason, EagleBank Announce Multimillion-Dollar Education Partnership" (Press release). George Mason Patriots. May 7, 2015. Retrieved May 7, 2015. 
  8. ^ SCANNELL, NANCY (1982-01-21). "GMU Asks Legislators for Faculty Pay Raises". The Washington Post (in en-US). ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2015-11-05. 
  9. ^ Barnes, Bart (1982-03-16). "George Mason Plans 9,200-Seat Arena". The Washington Post (in en-US). ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2015-11-05. 
  10. ^ Mintz, John (1985-05-19). "Graduation Opens GMU Arena". The Washington Post (in en-US). ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2015-11-05. 
  11. ^ a b Turcol, Thomas (1985-09-13). "GMU Arena Opens Oct. 4". The Washington Post (in en-US). ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2015-11-05. 
  12. ^ "NCAA VOLLEYBALL". The Washington Post. 5 May 1990. Retrieved 5 November 2015 – via Proquest. (subscription required (help)). 
  13. ^ Fatsis, Stefan; Swisher, Kara (13 May 1999). "Group Led by AOL's Leonsis to Acquire NHL's Capitals and Other Sports Stakes". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 4 November 2015 – via Proquest. (subscription required (help)). 
  14. ^ Canfora, Jason La (2000-01-12). "Caps' Owners Buy Heft's WSE Stake". The Washington Post (in en-US). ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2015-11-05. 
  15. ^ Heath, Thomas (2010-04-28). "Ted Leonsis reaches deal to buy Washington Wizards from Pollin family". The Washington Post (in en-US). ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2015-11-05. 
  16. ^ El-Bashir, Tarik; Heath, Thomas (2010-06-11). "Ted Leonsis takes control of the Washington Wizards". The Washington Post (in en-US). ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2015-11-05. 
  17. ^ "UFC Fight Night 20 targeted for Jan. 11 in Virginia, Spike TV to broadcast (Updated)". mmajunkie.com. Archived from the original on 2011-02-13. Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  18. ^ "What's New at the Patriot Center". George Mason Athletics. 2012-01-27. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 

External links[edit]