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Michigan State University Breslin Student Events Center


The $50 million renovation at Michigan State University’s Breslin Student Events Center transformed the 25-year-old building into a dynamic arena for the Spartan men’s and women’s basketball program. The new Breslin Center has been reported by ESPN to be "better than most pro arenas."

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A New Focal Point on Campus

ROSSETTI created a focal point at the Northwest campus entrance to strengthen the approach experience and better integrate into the campus community. The new Championship Plaza creates a 33,000 SF space to accommodate the significant game-day flow of pedestrian traffic and embraces the iconic bronze statue of Magic Johnson. 

The new canted and curved exterior glass façade, called the Gilbert Pavilion, transforms the sense of arrival as visitors are immediately immersed in Spartan legacy. The Pavilion not only houses the new 26,000 SF Basketball Hall of History but creates a grand connection to the newly expanded arena concourse, with views into the bowl. 

(hover mouse over photo to see the dramatic before and after)

Spartan Legacy Highlighted Through Technology 

The interior’s integration of state-of-the-art interactive displays throughout the museum-quality hall highlight the Spartans’ legacy and accomplishments, starting with five LED columns with synchronized content. A monumental Spartan helmet lends a dynamic approach to the iconic mark, while being mounted to the textured maple wall. 

“Almost all the displays are dynamic – most are LED boards or LCD screens which are completely customizable in terms of content (which is tailored to both men’s and women’s teams). It’s the beauty of using new technology instead of typical static graphics and displays,” said Matt Taylor, Design Lead at ROSSETTI. “Nowadays, it’s quite easy to change the content and there’s more equality than in the past.”

Other new components of the hall, such as the uniform diorama display, showcase the latest trends in uniform branding for both men’s and women’s teams. A representation of the program’s stars exhibit the past, present, and future, augmented by the electronics. A need for exceptional AV design found ROSSETTI partnering with Anthony James Partners as the audio-video consultant. 

The ROSSETTI team also inventively reused the court floor from the 2000 National Championship game. The hardwood panels make a focal point for the display of the Championship Wall, which is directly adjacent to the digital Spartan helmet. The team also installed a 15” x 8” panel that links the brand-new Hall of History to the teams’ refueling station and captures the senior players’ tradition of kissing center court. 

“It’s really amazing to see those real-world artifacts mixed in with the dynamic, high-end tech we have throughout the facility,” Taylor said.

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Renovations to Boost Recruitment and Community Attendance 

Other additions include the 5,000-square-foot strength and conditioning room (named after the university’s latest superstar to graduate to the NBA, Draymond Green) and the alumni locker room. Green donated $3.1 million to the program in 2015.

“The ROSSETTI team are absolute professionals with sports-related facilities,” Dan Gilbert noted as he unveiled the complex during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Gilbert is the CEO of Quicken Loans and a graduate of MSU.

(hover mouse over photo to see the dramatic before and after)

The expansion of the Breslin Center goes beyond merely serving the university’s athletic program. It offers an expanded concourse space, a public plaza, and totally new food and beverage experiences for a multitude of campus, community, and entertainment events. 

With ROSSETTI’s transformative design, the Breslin Center has now graduated from a late 80's utilitarian campus venue to a world-class professional entertainment center that proudly integrates the Spartan legacy like no other collegiate arena in the world.