A long-awaited indoor sports arena for the University of Southern California finally began construction on October 31, 2004 under the direction of HNTB Architecture. Designed by the firm's Fernando Vasquez, the mega arena compliments the other brick-clad buildings on the main campus; its massive brick pillars reminiscent of Edward D. Stone's design for the Waite Phillips Hall of Education. Huge bas-relief sculptures of athletes, cap-and-gown graduates and dancers adorn the corners. The interior houses the main arena, a practice facility and administrative offices. A huge picture window on the arena's north side dramatically frames a view of the downtown Los Angeles skyline.
The USC basketball program waited for over 100 years for the realization of their own arena. Gifts totalling $50 million from long-time Trojan booster Louis Galen and his wife Helen made the center possible. The Center cost an estimated $147 million to complete, including the arena, team offices and a practice facility. Teams began competing in the arena in October 2006.