The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Car crashes into Al McGuire Center, no injuries reported

Grace Connatser and Kaitlyn Bross

A car driving southbound on 12th Street crashed into the Al McGuire Center Saturday morning at 2:33 a.m., university spokesperson Lynn Sheka confirmed in a statement. There were no injuries and the building was vacant at the time of Saturday’s crash, the university statement said.

Marquette University Police Department took the male driver into custody when they responded to the scene shortly after the initial crash. The university statement said alcohol is “believed to be a factor in the accident.” Milwaukee Fire Department also responded to the incident.

MUPD released the driver but is still investigating the incident, MUPD Capt. Jeff Kranz said. Kranz, who was on the scene, said MUPD is waiting for blood results for alcohol and any other substances involved. Kranz said MUPD believes the incident was not intentional.

“As complex as it was, it was really simple,” Kranz said. “An impaired driver lost control of their vehicle and drove through the doors.”

The car initially hit the traffic barrier on the west side of 12th Street before making a 90-degree turn, crashing through the building’s north entrance. A wall initially blocked the vehicle from getting past the arena corridor, but the driver backed up and drove into the arena seating bowl. After going down the west bleachers, the car rolled across the court and crashed into the east bleachers, according to Deputy athletic director Mike Broeker.

Broeker said a handful of bleacher seats will need to be replaced on the west side of the court, and the department is “unsure” of the integrity of the east bleachers after the car hit it. Building damage is primarily concentrated near the northwest entrance.

This isn’t the first time a car hit the building. A car crashed through the 12th Street entrance in 2017 after the driver lost control of the vehicle.

Kranz said the department plans to increase patrolling of 12th Street but has no other preventative plans.

“We keep an eye on it,” Kranz said. “It’s a busy street, but it’s not our busiest street.”

Broeker said Marquette Athletics and other university personnel have “had conversations” about the protection of the Al McGuire Center from future incidents but said there are no definitive plans yet.

The university statement said the university is “assessing the damage to the building and is grateful no one was injured.”

The Marquette women’s basketball team moved its Saturday afternoon game against University of Illinois at Chicago to Fiserv Forum instead of the Al McGuire Center.

Marquette’s home game against the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Wednesday will instead be on UWM’s campus at the Klotsche Center.

“Based on what I’ve seen the last couple hours, I have a hard time believing we’re going to be able to play women’s basketball here on Wednesday,” Broeker said.

The NCAA Tournament volleyball games will still be at the Al McGuire Center Friday and Saturday, according to the athletic department. The volleyball team uses a taraflex floor, a rubbery court surface. Women’s basketball has to use the hardwood floor, which was damaged from the crash.

Broeker said he is confident Marquette will be able to host the women’s basketball’s game against Michigan Dec. 2.

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