SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The project still has more phases to come, but Syracuse University on Feb. 17 formally opened the John A. Lally Athletics Complex.
It followed the first phase of renovation work at the former Manley Field House on the school’s South campus.
The Lally Athletics Complex is meant to serve and support Syracuse University’s 600 students-athletes, John Wildhack, Syracuse director of athletics, said in his opening remarks.
“This is a special and historic day for Syracuse Athletics,” Wildhack said.
Syracuse University is naming the project after John Lally, a 1982 Syracuse graduate and three-time football letterwinner. Lally and his wife, Laura, in 2019 made a $25 million donation to jumpstart work on the project, which will be entirely funded by private philanthropy.
The project, which will happen over time, is part of a $150 million funding campaign by the Syracuse Department of Athletics. The university describes the former Manley Field House as the “hub of activity and the center of student-athlete life” for its athletics programs for nearly 60 years.
The school is acknowledging the naming and the first of many stages of creating the Lally Athletics Complex, Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud said.
“This gift is going to change athletics at Syracuse University,” Syverud added.
In the next phase of the work on the spaces, Syracuse will build out the academic, medical recovery, and dining center that will serve all student-athletes. The work will also renovate and expand Syracuse University’s football-operations facilities.
Wildhack also thanked all of the Legends Society members who have contributed to the project, along with all donors and Syracuse University officials who played a role making the project happen.
He also acknowledged the work of the Hayner Hoyt Corporation of Syracuse. “They took a concept and what you’re going to see is what they did with it and what they built. And it’s magnificent,” Wildhack said.
In his remarks, John Lally said he’s “super excited” about where the project is as of now.
“But understand, this is phase 1-A. In the summer, they want to start phase 1-B. That means, as a university, as a development staff, and as [alumni], we need to do everything we can to support it,” Lally said.