Breslin Center History

The Breslin Student Events Center was named in honor of Jack Breslin, a Battle Creek native, who served his alma mater, Michigan State University, as a distinguished student leader, honored athlete, top administrator, and relentless advocate. His personification of the Spartan spirit and innovative leadership played a pivotal role in the growth and development of the nation’s first land-grant university. Jack Breslin held many administrative roles and received numerous honors for his selfless public service and civic pride. He will always be known and remembered by the title bestowed upon him by students, journalists, governors, and university presidents alike: “Mr. MSU.”

In 1969, Jack was one of the first administrators to initiate planning for a multi-purpose, student facility and continued to be the leading force through the conceptual design. Prints of such a design were completed in January 1970 and featured such innovations as an extra “practice gymnasium,” and a dedicated space for male and female performers. After years of discussion and revision, construction on the Center commenced in July 1986 with the Jack Breslin dedication following on November 9, 1989. 


In the fall of 2001, two additional 8,000 square foot auxiliary gyms and new office space for the Men’s and Women’s basketball teams were added to the Breslin Center. The addition was named the “Berkowitz Center” for the late Alfred Berkowitz, a business leader, U.S. Army veteran, and pharmacist from Southeast Michigan, whose private foundation pledged more than $2 million toward the project.

In 2013, Residential and Hospitality Services and Intercollegiate Athletics commissioned studies to examine how to use the Breslin Center to its highest functional capacity as a major event center for MSU. Resulting from this was a two-phase project envisioned to enhance the student, alumni, fan and public experience, while create a lasting legacy by integrating a sense of Spartan tradition throughout the facility. The $47 million renovation included increased & upgraded restrooms, a 52,000 square foot addition, improved entrance gates, and renovated concession areas. The expansion added features such as the Hall of History, Draymond Green Strength and Conditioning Center, recruiting lounge, alumni locker room, and a new ticket office.

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