Dear Saints Fans,
Siena Athletics experienced a transformative year in 2016-17 as great progress was made towards building our future both through the creation and enhancement of facilities to better serve our student athletes and coaches, as well as successes and progress from a number of our teams.
The $13.5 million multi-phase project to renovate and enhance both the Alumni Recreation Center and Marcelle Athletic Complex kicked into full gear this past year. Phases 1A and 1B -- featuring the creation of a men's and women's basketball practice court, enhancements to the ARC competition court, and the construction of new baseball and softball hitting cages -- was completed during the past year. As we enter the 2017-18 school year, construction is nearly complete on our new strength and conditioning and sports medicine suites, as well as a new ARC event entrance. The final phase, which features an 8,725 square foot, two-story fitness center, is set for completion next fall.
On the field, the men's golf, women's soccer, women's tennis, and softball teams all achieved second place finishes. It was an especially historic year for women's tennis, which became the first team in Siena Athletics' history to begin a season with 15 consecutive victories.
March Madness was at a fever pitch as both basketball teams had noteworthy finishes to their seasons. The men won 13 of their final 19 games and electrified the Times Union Center with a trip to the MAAC Championship Game. The women's team was also victorious in 12 of their final 19 contests and won 13 MAAC games to equal the program's most conference triumphs in 14 years. Additionally, for the 20th straight year, the men's program was ranked in the top-100 nationally in average attendance, and for the 10th consecutive season averaged over 6,000 fans per game at the TUC.
The 2016-17 school year was the department's most successful in money raised through corporate sales and Saints Alive! donations. Following an 11% increase in corporate sales in the first year of our new partnership with Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment in 2015-16, VWSE brought in a new record of $741,735 last year to mark a 21% spike. I am pleased to report that we also exceeded our annual fundraising goal. The Saints Alive! Athletic Fund raised a new record $623,756 which was nearly a 10% increase from the previous year.
Continued generous support from fans like you is what allows us to build our future, whether through first rate facilities, or giving our student athletes the additional tools they need to succeed both on and off the field. If you are a Saints Alive! member -- THANK YOU! If you would like to be a part of Saints Alive! and help us continue to create champions, we would love to have you! It's as easy as visiting SienaSaints.com and clicking on the donate button.
Thanks for all you do for Siena's student athletes.
Siena College Vice President and Director of Athletics