Wayne and Eileen Ryan Athletic Center and D.J. Sokol Arena Fact Sheet

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  The Wayne and Eileen Ryan Athletic Center


D. J. Sokol Arena

Fact Sheet

  1. Project description: The 78,134 square-foot facility, houses a gymnasium seating approximately 2,950. The facility will provide a long-desired on-campus home court arena for women's basketball and volleyball. It will support the baseball, softball and women's and men's soccer programs, ticket offices, meeting rooms and also provide a gathering place for campus and community events including assemblies, coaching camps and clinics, concerts, speakers and graduations.
  1. Architecture style: Collegiate Gothic
  1. Architect: Sink, Combs, Dethlefs; Construction: Hawkins Construction
  1. Dedication: October 2007


  1. Demolition of parking lot to begin construction: July 2008
  1. Construction completion: August 2009
  1. Project cost: The Wayne and Eileen Ryan Athletic Center and D.J. Sokol Arena, along with the under-construction Rasmussen Center, are a combined project that ensures Creighton remains competitive in attracting today's students, who expect comprehensive social/recreational/health experiences as part of their whole-person college experience.
  1. Project size: 78,134 square feet
  1. Building materials:
    • 182,682 bricks were used in the construction
    • 2,560 cubic yards of concrete were mixed and poured
    • 96,500 pounds of sheet metal was used to hold and form the building
    • 654 tons of steel was welded to create the structure
    • 260,00 square feet of drywall
  1. Special architectural features: The facility compliments the architectural style of recent construction on campus.
  1. Insider information:
    • The diameter of the ceiling fan inside the arena is 20'-0"
    • The height of the gable roof ridge is 78'-10" above the arena floor
    • As many as 115 people were working on the job site some days
    • During the winter, some sections of steel had to be heated so the welding could be accomplished.


  1. Sustainability efforts:
    • The arena wood floor, constructed of Forest Industry Council (FSC) Certified Wood, is obtained from forest managers who adopt environmentally and socially responsible practices.
    • Projection screens used within the D. J. Sokol Arena meet the "GreenGuard" certification program.
    • The use of occupancy sensor lighting controls through the office space of the Ryan Athletic Center provides energy efficiency.
    • Energy efficient light emitting diode (LED) and fluorescent lighting was used for all lighting excluding arena lighting and decorative lighting
    • When the outdoor temperature is comfortable, the use of unconditioned air is an effective and economical way to cool the building; this is known as "free cooling" economizers.
  1. Facility name: D.J. Sokol Arena in thee Wayne and Eileen Ryan Athletic Center  
    • Creation of such a center had been on Creighton University's master plan for more than six years when in October 2007 Board members Connie Ryan and David Sokol, and their families, united in embracing the University's master plan and accelerated efforts to build the center housing a sports arena.  They felt the timing was right not only to make a difference at Creighton but to continue the renaissance of making the corridor from the riverfront to the Creighton University Medical Center an academic, athletic and entertainment district. 
    • Dr. Wayne and Eileen Ryan believe strongly in the Jesuit commitment to educate the whole person - mind, body and spirit.  Wayne is a graduate of Creighton, earning a bachelor's degree in 1949 and a master's degree two years later.  He began his career teaching at Creighton before pursuing his passion for research that led to the founding of his company, Streck Inc., where he is Chairman and CEO.  Wayne and Eileen are long-time supporters of Creighton University academic and athletic programs.  Recently, they established the Fr. Henry W. Casper, S.J., Professorship in History to honor one of Ryan's favorite Jesuit professors at Creighton.  In 2007, Wayne and Eileen received The Ignatian Spirit Award from the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus, honoring a couple who exhibit the ideals associated with St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus.  The couple's daughter, Connie, serves on the Creighton University Board of Directors and is President of Streck, Inc.
  • o The D.J. Sokol Arena honors the memory of David L. Sokol, Jr. "D.J.", May 29, 1981 - June 11, 1999. At the age of 16, D.J. Sokol was diagnosed with cancer. His response over the next two years to the challenge of fighting this disease will forever communicate to others the character of D.J. Sokol. He demonstrated wisdom, maturity, empathy and enthusiasm, and served as a tremendous source of inspiration to all who met him. Generations of athletes privileged to play here will continue to be inspired by his example.

D.J.'s parents, David and Peggy, are community leaders who devote time and resources to a host of charitable causes.  They are longtime supporters of Creighton University and the Bluejays.  David Sokol is Chairman of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company and a former member of the Creighton University Board of Directors. 

The Sokol family's dedication to giving back to their community is a testament to their generosity, vision, leadership and character. They believe that the best investment anyone can make is in the youth of their community. 

  1. Other special features:
    • Electronic access to negate the need for keys to the locker rooms and other spaces
    • Closed-circuit TV cameras throughout the building for security records
    • Wireless internet capability throughout
    • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant design


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