The Kress Events Center Celebrates a Huge Milestone

By Greg Bintz, Daniel Bestul, Jordon Lawrenz, & Zach Glander


March 2 marked a milestone day at the Kress Events Center. The Horizon League Quarterfinal matchup between the Wright State Raiders and Green Bay Phoenix had plenty of storylines, but it was an underlying story that had yet to surface: the game coincided with the 250th women’s basketball game played in the arena.

Green Bay women’s basketball defeated the Wisconsin Badgers 70-60 on December 14, 2023, at the Kress Center. (Photo credit: Green Bay Athletics)

Assistant Head Coach Sarah Bronk, who has been with Green Bay since 2007, the same year the Kress Center opened, reflected on what the arena has meant to her.

“It’s special,” described Bronk. “This place has a lot of story history, and the Kress Center is the latest chapter of that history. Not everybody gets to be a part of that. To be part of what Green Bay and the University have is really, really special, and I feel fortunate to be part of that.”

Green Bay Athletics held its first event on November 2, 2007, when the volleyball team fell to Milwaukee in five sets. The University invested in the Kress Events Center, spending over 33 million dollars. Upgrades were made towards a new men’s basketball practice gym (the Dick Bennett Gym), new locker rooms, training rooms, and weight rooms.

The Kress Center, which has held other events such as a Bernie Sanders rally in 2016, is a ‘crown jewel’ for UWGB. (Photo credit: UWGB)

The Kress Events Center isn’t just used for athletics purposes, however. UWGB’s entire student body and the community can use the center for recreational purposes, too. A wealth of health and wellness spaces, like the East and West Gym, can be used by UWGB’s nearly 10,000 undergrad students, faculty, and community members who pay a monthly fee.

The building has meant a lot, not just for the community and UWGB students but for the women’s basketball team as well. Green Bay has dominated in the Kress Center since it opened, going 219-31 in the 250 games at the KEC. The Phoenix captured the 219th win on Thursday, March 2, 85-57 over Wright State, which marked the 250th women’s basketball game at the Kress. Green Bay has racked up at least 10 home victories in all but three seasons since beginning play inside the Kress.

Jasmine Kondrakiewicz smiles at the end of the Horizon League Quarterfinal game against Wright State on Thursday, March 2, 2023, at the Kress Center. The Phoenix won 85-57 (Photo credit: Julia Kostopoulos)

“When I am able to go to games, I really enjoy the atmosphere that the games provide,” commented Molly Grabarec, a senior at UW-Green Bay. “It’s cool to see the Green Bay community and the UWGB students come together.”

“The Kress Center has become one of the greatest women’s basketball venues in the country,” said Josh Moon, Director of Athletics. “Attendance at women’s basketball games speaks for itself, consistently ranked in the top 75 of Division I schools. It is truly a multi-purpose facility that has served UWGB well over the years.”

“It’s special to come to a place that values the same core things that you value,” continued Bronk. “The life lessons that are taught here to student-athletes – and I get to be a part of that. I get to witness it – to go out and recruit the best student-athletes that we can, to teach them those lessons. Being part of their life and growth is really cool, and I get to do that on a daily basis.”

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