Three Great Teams Under One Roof! Today you can order tickets to catch the Fresno State Bulldogs play in men’s and women’s basketball, women’s volleyball, and wrestling for some of the best Division I athletics on this side of the country.
The Fresno State Bulldogs are intercollegiate athletic teams representing California State University, Fresno. The university is a member of the NCAA Division I’s Mountain West Conference. This came after being members of the Western Athletic Conference from 1992 – 2012. The University is also one of many that graduated from their origins as a Division II university, back from its beginning in the 1939-40 season.
Fresno State currently sponsors nine men’s and thirteen women’s sports at the varsity level. Of these 22 athletics programs, four play their games from the Save Mart Center. Additionally, three of the university’s programs are being eliminated due to the global pandemic.
The Fresno State Bulldogs Women’s Volleyball Team has made four appearances in the NCAA Division I Tournament. Currently their record stands at 2-4 in that heated competition. But volleyball fans note that the team performs better with every appearance and are eagerly awaiting their next tournament run.
The Fresno State Bulldogs women’s basketball team has a long and storied history in collegiate sports. As of the 2015-16 season, the team has an all-time record of 736-562. The team has made seven NCAA Tournament every year from 2008-2014. During the team’s time with the Western Athletic Conference, the team had won four WAC titles. They have also become conference regular season champions in five separate seasons (2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2020).
The Fresno State Wrestling program was dropped from varsity status in 2006 due to a lean budget year and gender equity issue. This almost ended wrestling in Fresno State for good had it not been for University President Joseph Castro who pleaded for wrestling to be reinstated alongside a new women’s sport.
On February 28, 2015, newly appointed athletic director Jim Bartko announced his plan to reinstate wrestling which would have answered Castro’s plea. But to see it done, the team would require funding to hire a coach and expand on recruiting.
Fresno State then added women’s water polo alongside wrestling to satisfy Title IX requirements. This brought the number of Fresno State’s athletics programs up to 22. Both teams started competition in the 2017-2018 season.
Since then, the wrestling team has been an associate member of the Big 12 Conference, since their primary conference does not promote wrestling.
The Fresno State Bulldogs men’s basketball team also has a rich history with successful seasons. This includes one NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen as well as other achievements across their career. Fresno State fans likely know all the exciting facts, but here’s a short run-down of this team’s records.
About Save Mart Center Arena
Save Mart Center at Fresno State is a multi-purpose arena built on the campus of California State University, Fresno. IT is located in Fresno, California where it hosts home games for four of the university’s athletics programs as well as serving as a venue for concerts, wrestling shows, and other events.
The first open house was held for the community on November 5, 2003. While the official ribbon cutting came on November 27, 2003.
While the venue is, perhaps, best known as the home for four of Fresno State’s teams, it was the former home of the Fresno Falcons ice hockey team for their first five seasons in the ECHL (2003-08). But the Falcons moved after Selland Arena opened.
The venue’s first concert performance was an appearance by opera tenor Andrea Bocelli.
History and Facts
The Save Mart Center initially broke ground on May 8, 2001. It later opened to the public on November 27, 2003. The project was funded from revenue from corporate sponsors, private gifts, leasing of luxury suites, club seating and personal seating sales and licenses, as well as classic advertising revenue.
As a multi-purpose arena, it can be arranged in different formations for different needs. And each of these formations has their own max capacity. The current max capacities are as follows.
- Basketball – 15,596
- Boxing – 16,182
- Concerts – 16,182
- Ice Events – 14,224
- Hockey – 14,224
- Rodeo – 12,368
- Wrestling – 16,182
The Save Mart Center covers a wide amount of space and uses it well, with three primary levels and a club level. The facility has 8 party suites located on the main concourse level and several features that keep residents and visitors coming back for more.
This includes a 93 ft Larry A Shehadey Clock Tower that stands at an incredible 13 stories. The clock tower was named for the founder of Producers Dairy Foods, a Fresno-based dairy company who donated $3 million towards the arena’s construction.
The arena also features The Bulldog Foundation Community Room, which displays the names of past presidents, current officers, lifetime honorees, and the annual top fundraisers. It also features a list of any premium seating or show catering available to rent.
Guests can also check out the Shehadey Lobby which features a massive bronze bulldog statue that stands at 10 feet in height. The statue has an engraving on a plaque that reads:
This is our mascot and he ain’t no hound.
He’s an English bull and weighs lots of pounds
He’s got two rows of teeth and a terrible frown
Hey, nobody’s kicking our dog around!!!
The statue had nine time capsule boxes placed in the base of the statue early in 2004 that contained items chosen to represent all aspects of Fresno State University. The capsules are scheduled to be opened in early 2054.