Representatives from the University of Rhode Island's Ryan Center announced Wednesday that beginning with the 2013-14 season, the URI men's and women's basketball programs will be playing on a newly named and re-designed court - The Alex and Ani Court at the Thomas M. Ryan Center.
“We could not be more thrilled to unveil The Alex and Ani Court at the Thomas M. Ryan Center,” said Director of Athletics Thorr Bjorn. “To have a Rhode Island-based, Inc. 500 company as highly respected as Alex and Ani buy into the naming rights of our new basketball court speaks volumes to the direction and excitement that is surrounding our program. The installation of this state-of-the-art court is yet another necessary step toward building a championship-caliber basketball program at the University of Rhode Island.”
The 72' x 112' floor prominently displays the Alex and Ani logo on both ends of the floor, flanking the two-tone Keaney/Navy Blue block R.I. logo at halfcourt. Each baseline features strong branding with "RHODE ISLAND" in block letters.
"Alex and Ani is committed to the state of Rhode Island and our expansion and reinvestment into the community will be ongoing for the entire existence of our company," stated Alex and Ani CEO Giovanni Feroce. "We are proud to announce the unveiling Alex and Ani Court at the Thomas M. Ryan Center through our partnership with the University of Rhode Island Athletic Department."
The official Twitter handle for Rhode Island Athletics - @GoRhodyRams - and the GoRhody.com web address are also located on both sidelines by halfcourt, designed for maximum television and arena exposure. The area inside the 3-point arcs will be wood-stained, giving the court a more modern, fresh look - especially designed for high-definition television broadcasts.
"Everything about The Alex and Ani Court at the Thomas M. Ryan Center is first-class," said Dan Hurley, head men's basketball coach. "We are fortunate and proud to have a dedicated and visionary partnership with Alex and Ani, along with a top-notch playing surface, and a sharp design that our fans can be excited about,"
The new floor was constructed by Robbins Sport Surfaces. More than 90 percent of all NBA teams have relied on Robbins for their competition and training facilities and the Cincinnati, Ohio-based company has built basketball courts for 21 out of the past 25 NBA champions. More than half of all NCAA basketball programs play on a Robbins floor.
"Having a fresh look on the floor will energize our players and our fans, which will increase the level of pride and excitement at home games this season," said head women's basketball coach Cathy Inglese. "It will add to the atmosphere of the game-day experience at the Ryan Center."
The All-Star surface is made up of 225 pieces - each weighing close to 200 pounds that are held together by more than 450 bolts. Assembly of the court takes approximately four hours with 16-person crew.
"The design of the court was a collaboration of the athletic department, our staff and university administration," said Leah Becki, General Manager of the Thomas M. Ryan Center. "Our goal from the beginning was to give the court a reenergized look, as we continue to update and modernize this great multipurpose venue. We are thrilled to be able to expand our relationship with a great corporate partner and excited for the opportunities the Alex and Ani Court at the Thomas M. Ryan Center presents not only both basketball programs, but also the Global Spectrum-managed Ryan Center and university as a whole."
In addition to the new playing court, the Alex and Ani Court at the Thomas M. Ryan Center will also have two new basket backstops, designed by Spalding - the official supplier of backstop, backboard, and goals for the NCAA Final Four. There will be two new Arena Backstops with 8' extension arms, two Superglass Pro backboards, and two Precision 180 goals.