Neville Arena: Auburn trustees approve arena name change

Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 11:02 AM CST
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AUBURN, Ala. (WBRC) - The competition venue for Auburn men’s and women’s basketball, gymnastics and volleyball was renamed Neville Arena in recognition of the single largest gift in Auburn Athletics history. Auburn University’s Board of Trustees approved the move Friday.

Neville Arena, opened in 2010 with a seating capacity of 9,121, will be named after Bill and Connie Neville, members of the Pat Dye Society, Tigers Unlimited’s highest level of giving.

“We wanted to do something special for men’s basketball because it’s become such another amazing Auburn experience,” Bill Neville said. “The fact that we can benefit so many student-athletes, students and members of the Auburn family was our primary inspiration. We’re honored that Auburn would consider us.”

“It’s a remarkable time for Auburn Basketball,” Connie Neville said. “Coach Pearl has built a wonderful program, bringing excitement and enjoyment to the arena. We are very humbled to be able to make this gift.”

Bill Neville serves on the Tigers Unlimited Foundation Board. The Neville’s previous philanthropic support resulted in the naming of the Bill and Connie Neville Lobby in the east elevator lobby at Jordan-Hare Stadium in honor of the Eufaula natives.

Bill’s father and grandparents graduated from Auburn University. Bill earned his undergraduate degree from Rice University in mathematics, computer science and mathematical sciences, and his MBA from Columbia University.

He founded several technology firms on St. Croix focusing on television news and automation, broadband deployment and sports analytics.

Connie earned her bachelor’s in education from New York University and a master’s in education from Columbia University. The Nevilles live on St. Croix, where Connie supports a number of charitable causes after teaching in New York, New Jersey and Florida, and working in interior design.

“With their transformational gift, Bill and Connie Neville are investing in the future of Auburn Athletics and Auburn University,” Director of Athletics Allen Greene said. “Motivated by their love of Auburn, Bill and Connie’s philanthropy will directly benefit Auburn student-athletes for generations.

“We thank the Board of Trustees for approving the recommendation to acknowledge the Neville’s profound generosity, as well as approving facilities projects that will further elevate all of the Auburn programs that call Neville Arena home.”

In addition to the naming of Neville Arena, the Board of Trustees also passed Phase I approval to initiate a project creating an additional basketball practice facility at the arena.

Trustees passed a resolution to construct the new practice gym and renovate existing team support spaces to alleviate overscheduling of the existing practice gym, which is shared by men’s and women’s basketball, and volleyball, as well as visiting teams. It will permit Auburn’s men’s and women’s programs to conduct practices at advantageous times and bring their facilities to Southeastern Conference competitive standards.

A dedication marking the official name change from Auburn Arena to Neville Arena will take place March 4 at the venue, with an on-court recognition March 5 during men’s basketball’s regular season finale vs. South Carolina.

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