The focal point of all campus sports activity is the Koessler Athletic Center. Built in 1968 at a cost of $3 million, the KAC houses both the Physical Education and Athletic Departments and is the site of intercollegiate, intramural, recreation and local high school sporting events. The facility also hosts numerous concerts, comedy shows and the College's graduate school graduation ceremonies.
History The KAC consists of a multi-purpose gymnasium, swimming pool, the Center for Athletic Training, the school's varsity weight room, a fitness center, coaches' offices and classrooms. The gymnasium underwent a face lift that was completed in 2002. The ceiling was removed, and the walls were refinished and painted. The bleachers were replaced with 1,100 chair back seats and new bleachers, bringing the capacity to 2,196. The floor was refinished and repainted, and a new sound system was installed. In addition, the lighting was upgraded and wiring was added to allow for televised games. The final touch was the addition of new scoreboards, one of which lists individual players’ points and fouls. The $1.3 million renovations were made with the help of a $1 million gift from Chester and Diane Stranczek. Over the past 10 years, the KAC has added offices for its staff on the ground level, new equipment in an expanded weight room, new offices for the Athletic Department, a new ticket office and the state-of-the-art Center for Athletic Training.
The summer of 2007 saw the redesign of the women's general locker room, as well as the addition of team locker rooms for softball, women's soccer, women's swimming and diving, women's cross country and synchronized swimming. In the summer of 2008, the school sponsored a construction project which will result in brand new locker rooms for the men and women's basketball programs, which are considered to be the finest on-campus facilities in the MAAC. The summer of 2010 saw the completion of the fourth phase of the school's renovation plan with the opening for new locker rooms for baseball, men's soccer, men's cross country and men's swimming and diving. Also included in that fourth phase of work was the construction of brand new offices for the department's outdoor-sport coaching staffs and the new Griffin Meeting Room, a state-of-the-art room with theater seating for up 60 people.
The Rev. James M. Demske, S.J. Sports Complex, built in 1989 at a cost of $4.5 million, provides a home field for Canisius College athletics. It has been hailed by the New York Times, USA Today, and The NCAA News as a model for urban campuses.
History The facility is unique for its space utilization in a compact urban setting and has set the standard for design for other schools with limited land. Built on a 14-acre parcel of land located behind the Koessler Athletic Center, the multi-use, all-purpose, all-weather A-Turf surface serves as home to the Golden Griffin soccer, lacrosse, baseball and softball teams. The field, which is fully lighted for evening activities, features grandstand seating for 1,000 and portable bleachers for 200. In addition to the field, locker rooms for Canisius student-athletes and visiting opponents sits adjacent to the Koessler Athletic Center.
The Demske Sports Complex underwent a major face lift during the summer of 2008 when Canisius replaced the old AstroTurf 12 playing surface with 123,000 square feet of A-Turf. A-Turf is a multi-purpose, all-weather synthetic playing surface that is virtually unaffected by adverse weather conditions. Using natural grass as its model, A-Turf’s synthetic turf consists of a denser construction of polyethylene fibers and a high-level of specialized rubber and sand mix to increase playability and lower the G-Max rating. The lower the G-Max rating, the greater the shock absorption and less impact to the athlete. In addition to the work on the playing fields, Canisius also installed brand new scoreboards and new baseball dugouts along the first and third base sides.
The Demske Sports Complex hosted the 2004, 2009, 2011 and 2013 MAAC Men’s Lacrosse League Championships, the 2012 and 2014 MAAC Women's Lacrosse Championships -- both won by the Griffs -- and also served as the site of the 2010 MAAC Softball Championships.
During the summer of 2013, Canisius College announced a partnership with the Buffalo Sabres to play its home games at HARBORCENTER, a new $172 million facility built in downtown Buffalo.
History Canisius began a new era of Golden Griffin hockey with the opening of HARBORCENTER on Oct. 31, 2014. Featured inside the $172 million facility is two NHL-size rinks, including an 1,800-seat arena where Canisius serves as the primary tenant. The facility also houses the team's state-of the art locker room, separate athletic training areas, a players lounge and the IMPACT Sports Performance Center.
HARBORCENTER also serves as a practice facility for the Buffalo Sabres as well as a home rink for the Buffalo Jr. Sabres of the OJHL and Erie Community College.
HARBORCENTER Firsts Opening Night Result: Canisius 3, Ohio State 3 (OT), 10/31/14 (Attendance: 2,000) First Goal: Shane Conacher, Canisius vs. Ohio State, 10/31/14 First Canisius Win: Canisius 3, Air Force 1, 11/28/14 First Hat Trick: Matt Garbowsky, RIT vs. Canisius, 11/14/14 First Canisius Hat Trick: Ralph Cuddemi, Canisius vs. AIC, 12/6/14 First Shutout: Jordan Ruby, RIT vs. Canisius, 11/15/14
Frank Lloyd Wright's Fontana Boathouse
Since the Fall of 2011, the Canisius rowing program has called the Frank Lloyd Wright's Fontana Boathouse their home. The Boathouse was named in honor of Charles L. Fontana for his contributions to the rowing community of Western New York. Fontana served as the Canisius crew coach from 1964-79 and was inducted into the Canisius Sports Hall of Fame in 1985.
History The Frank Lloyd Wright's Fontana Boathouse was originally designed by world-renown architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1905, his only boathouse design. Waiting for the right destination for his design to call home, his vision came to fruition in a state-of-the-art 5,000 square foot space built in September 2007 after years of fundraising and negotations. The $6.1 million facility is located along the Black Rock Canal, adjacent to the international Peace Bridge between the U.S. and Canada.
Koessler Athletic Center Pool
The Koessler Athletic Center Pool is a 25-yard, six-lane pool and hosts meets for the men and women’s swimming and diving teams as well as competitions for the synchronized swimming program. Installed for the start of the 2005-06 season was a new scoreboard that shows the running time throughout an event. Each time a swimmer hits the touch pad at the end of the lane, the split time for that swimmer is displayed in his or her respective lane on the scoreboard. At the end of the race, final times are posted on the board until the start of the next event. The scoreboard also shows point totals for the meet for both the men and women’s teams. Recording the times in the pool are touchpads located underneath the starting blocks. These touchpads are tied into the scoreboard console, which relays the times to be displayed on the scoreboard.
History Original construction of the facility was completed in 1968. Renovations were completed on the pool in 2005 and new scoreboards, featuring timing breakdowns for each lane, were installed in the summer of 2006. During the fall of 2009, brand new lights were installed in the facility, providing a better experience for swimmers and fans.
First Niagara Center
The First Niagara Center is a multipurpose facility located on Buffalo's waterfront and serves as the secondary home for the Canisius College men's basketball program.
History The arena is the home to the Buffalo Sabres (NHL), the Buffalo Bandits (NLL) and many forms of entertainment for people of all ages. The $127.5 million facility, located at the foot of Main Street and South Park Avenue, can seat 18,400 for basketball and 18,595 for hockey. Canisius co-hosted the NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Frozen Four at the HSBC Arena in 2003 and has served as the co-host for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in 2000, 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2014. The men's basketball team has played a total of 46 games in the downtown facility and set a new regular season attendance record Nov. 25, 2006, when 14,823 fans came out to see the Griffs play host to Syracuse. The building has also served as the host site to four MAAC Men and Women's Basketball Tournaments, with the last occasion coming in 2005, where the Canisius women's basketball team secured the school's first MAAC women's hoops title and the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament.
River Oaks Golf Club
River Oaks Golf Club in Grand Island, N.Y., is the home to the Canisius golf team. The 7,389-yard course plays at a par-72, with USGA course rating of 74.0 and a slope of 131.
River Oaks was designed by world-renowned Scottish architect Desmond Muirhead, who has designed more than 30 courses around the world. Murihead's design principles include a picturesque course layout featuring fairways lined with towering oak trees, numerous water hazards and many strategically-place bunkers.
River Oaks has earned its reputation throughout Western New York as a championhsip-caliber golf course that provides a variety of challenges for all golfers regardless of their playing ability.
The course will host the 2015 Little Three Championship, the second time the facility has hosted the long-standing rivalry tournament between Canisius, Niagara and St. Bonaventure.
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