For everyone who has ever stood up through a game in the Freeman Center, not out of Panther Pride but because the outdated bleachers were cramped and uncomfortable, Panther Athletics has an announcement for you: a campaign is underway to replace the vintage seating in the next year. Half of the cost of the project, $55,000, has been pledged by an anonymous donor as a matched gift opportunity. They will match all gifts for this project up to $55,000 over the next year, allowing donor dollars to have a double impact.

The new bleachers will be York College blue and will feature increased legroom as well as improved support to ensure long-term safety and use. Once all funding is in place, installation is planned for summer 2019.

“This is a project that is long overdue,” said Vice President of Athletics and Enrollment Jared Stark. “We’ve completed renovations on other public spaces in Freeman Center, from a new gym floor to a remodel of the front of the building. The bleachers are an essential piece in the makeover of the facility that will make it more comfortable and attractive for the thousands of players and fans that use the space each year.”

The 45-year-old bleachers will be removed and the wood will be repurposed into a donor recognition wall in the Freeman Center. Sponsorship opportunities for this project include sponsoring a seat for $55, a row for $550, and a section for $5,500. Those that give $55 or more will have their name (or the name of someone they’d like to honor) included on the new Panther Wall. For former athletes, this is a great opportunity to leave a legacy in a facility where they practiced and played.

Freeman Center opened in 1974. In the 45 years that it’s been in use, it has housed 1,225 basketball games, 604 volleyball matches, and 21 wrestling meets. Prior to the construction of the Holthus Fieldhouse, Freeman was also a practice facility during cold weather for many other York College athletic programs. Beyond athletics, Freeman Center was the original performance location for Songfest, housed daily chapel for several years, and has seen countless intramural and club activities as well as skills camps for area youth.

“Freeman Center has served us well over the last four and half decades,” added Stark. “The addition of new, safer, more comfortable and functional bleachers is one more upgrade to make it an athletic facility we can be proud of for years to come.”