Villanova seeks home court while Pavilion is being renovated

NOVA30
Jay Wright is hoping the Wells Fargo Center will be the Wildcats' home next season as renovations take over the Pavilion.

With the formal approval by the Villanova board of trustees of a $60 million renovation of the Pavilion, the university's basketball team suddenly has just two home games remaining before they must compete elsewhere for the entire 2017-18 season while work is being done on its 31-year-old home court.

Wildcats coach Jay Wright is hoping, however, that his team doesn't miss a beat, and can get as many home games as possible scheduled next season at the Wells Fargo Center.

"We love playing at the Wells Fargo Center and they've been very good to us," Wright said Friday. "We're hoping we can do every game, we really are, and they want to work with us."

The Wildcats played four games at the South Philadelphia arena this season and averaged 18,773 fans. They played before a sellout crowd of 20,907 in their Jan. 29 win over Virginia.

In the 21-year history of the Wells Fargo Center, Villanova is 50-34, including a 4-0 mark in NCAA tournament games in 2006 and 2009.

Wright said other options to host games include the Palestra, the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton, and the PPL Center in Allentown. But he added, "Hopefully, we can get them all at the Wells Fargo."

"We're fortunate in that we're used to playing at the Wells Fargo Center and we're comfortable," he said. "We have our routine, so I think we'll get used to that real quick. It's not like somebody else that would have to play on a court that they've never played on."

As for the renovation, which was approved Tuesday, Wright said, "We're definitely excited. We're going to make this state-of-the-art. This is going to be a great experience for Villanova basketball fans and a great home court, so I'm psyched about that, too."

The Wildcats' final two games of the season at the Pavilion are Wednesday night against No. 24 Butler, and next Saturday against No. 20 Creighton.

jjuliano@phillynews.com

@joejulesinq

Continue Reading