Clarksville, TN – A long-held dream is one step closer to reality. Friday morning, October 2nd, 2020, Austin Peay State University (APSU) Interim President Danelle Whiteside and Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett signed the lease agreement for the Governors men and women’s basketball teams to become the primary tenant for Montgomery County’s Multi-Purpose Event Center (MPEC) when the facility opens in Fall 2022.
It will take Austin Peay State University basketball off-campus regularly for the first time since 1953, when the Red Barn was opened.
Austin Peay State University Director of Athletics Gerald Harrison and head basketball coaches Matt Figger and David Midlick were on hand for the historic event, which would see the Division I basketball in Clarksville regularly played outside of the Winfield Dunn Center for the first time since 1975.
“Today is a transformative day for Austin Peay State University Athletics, the University and the people of Clarksville-Montgomery County,” Harrison said. “Athletically, our Governor basketball programs will reside in the finest facilities in the Ohio Valley Conference.”
“The MPEC will give our fans a first-class experience every time they walk through the door to support our student athletes. A tremendous amount of thanks to Mayor Durrett, President Whiteside and former President [Dr. Alisa] White for working tirelessly to bring this dream to reality. We can’t wait to ‘Fly the Gov’ on the corner of Second and College Street,” stated Harrison.
The facility is slated to become the crown jewel of Downtown Clarksville. At just shy of 280,000 square feet, the facility will house offices for the men and women’s basketball coaching staffs, a practice arena for the exclusive use of the Austin Peay State University basketball programs and offer luxury suite accommodations with dedicated catering, a club level on par with the one at Fortera Stadium and enhanced concession offerings, overnight transforming APSU home basketball contests into one of the top experiences in the Ohio Valley Conference—across all sports.
In addition to its status as home of the Governor basketball programs, the MPEC—official name still pending—will play host to concerts and community events, with more opportunities available thanks to its dual-purpose conversion abilities to go from basketball court to concert floor to hockey rink and more. The ‘multi-purpose’ part of the MPEC is no misnomer; by Fall 2022, Downtown Clarksville will be an entertainment district unlike any Montgomery County has ever seen.
“There will be suites, there will be some specialty seating, there will be rooms for rent for basketball games or events going on in the facility,” Durrett said. “It will be a true multi-purpose facility. It’s a very unique facility, one that we’ve spent a lot of time and research on. It will be a huge economic boost for our county, and having Austin Peay there just seals the whole deal.”