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 John Q. Hammons Makes $25 million Commitment to Missouri State University
to be Used for a $60 Million 12,000 Seat Campus Arena
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Beginning in November of 2008, the Missouri State University Bears and Lady Bears will have a new home JQH Arena.  Thanks to a $25 million commitment from Missouri State alumnus and Springfield, Mo.-based hotel developer John Q. Hammons, Missouri State announced plans today to build the $60 million JQH Arena.   
        
The Arena will contain a minimum of 12,000 chair-back seats, 20 private boxes, a private club, and other amenities.  It will be located on the parking lot just east of Hammons Student Center on John Q. Hammons Parkway, with construction scheduled to begin fall 2006 and be completed for the opening of the 2008-09 season. 
        
"Thanks to Mr. Hammons' vision and generosity, this longtime dream will become a reality," said Missouri State President Michael T. Nietzel.  "The most immediate and obvious beneficiaries of JQH Arena will be our fans and our athletics teams, but the ultimate impact of JQH Arena extends beyond athletics.  We expect this project to be stunning.   
        
"This project simply would not have been possible without Mr. Hammons, and we are very grateful to him.  Because of that, the Board of Governors was pleased to name the facility in his honor.  This is a terrific day for Missouri State, Springfield and Missouri." 
        
Greg Onstot, vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the Missouri State University Foundation, confirmed that the $25 million commitment is by far the largest single gift ever made to the University and its foundation. 
        
"I wanted the University to be able to build a facility that would live up to its new name, that would be a magnet for Springfield, and that would make all of us proud," said Hammons.  "I hope this gift helps make that happen and encourages others to invest in the University as well.  Missouri State has big aspirations, and I want JQH Arena to be an important part of its future development." 
        
Missouri State hopes to raise at least $5 million in cash to add to the $5 million provided by Hammons.  The University will then issue approximately $50 million in bonds.  Hammons will pay the debt service on the remaining $20 million he has committed; the University will pay the balance. 
        
"We will work out the details over the next several months," Nietzel said. "We plan to use a combination of private gifts, suite monies, revenue from seat assessments, additional season ticket sales, and other sources to pay the debt service.  I expect this project to attract not only a lot of attention, but also a lot of support." 
        
The 12,000 seats will meet the minimum required by the NCAA to host first and second round men's post-season tournament games, as well as women's post-season play.  The new arena also would be ideal for local, regional and statewide high school events. 
        
In addition, the Arena will be designed to host increased concert activity.  The University will retain practice areas in Hammons Student Center.  Complete plans for renovating the 30-year-old facility have not been determined; University officials say that will be part of the planning process over the next several months. 
        
"We look forward to the positive impact the new arena will have on both our recruiting and our ability to attract teams to Springfield to play us," said Bill Rowe, Missouri State athletics director.  "There is no doubt that this facility will put our two basketball programs on a par with any other Division I school in the country.  We couldn't be more pleased and appreciative of all that Mr. Hammons has done for our University over the years.  This is yet another example." 
        
Mr. Hammons has donated more than $100 million to the city of Springfield and other organizations in the last 50 years.  Some of his most notable philanthropic efforts include: the funding the Hammons Heart Institute and Hammons Life Line helicopter for St. John's Regional Health Center; the Hammons Student Center, Hammons Fountains and Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts at Missouri State University; and the Hammons School of Architecture at Drury University.   

About John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts, LLC 
Springfield, Mo.-based John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts, LLC is the nation's leading independent builder, developer, owner and manager of upscale, full-service hotels, resorts and suites, including:  Embassy Suites Hotels, Renaissance, Marriott, Radisson, Residence Inn, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Holiday Inn and Courtyard by Marriott brands.  With 63 hotels strategically located near demand generators, such as state capitals, universities, airports, corporate headquarters or office parks in secondary and tertiary markets, John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts' properties are dominant in their markets.  Over the course of his impressive career in the hotel business, Mr. Hammons has developed 171 hotels.  For more information about John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts, LLC, please visit the company's Web site at www.jqhhotels.com. 

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Contact:

Scott Tarwater
John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts, LLC
(417) 873-3591
scott.tarwater@jqh.com

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Also See: John Q. Hammons Makes Surprise Donation of $800,000 to the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame / June 2005
John Q. Hammons Starts Contruction on 120-room Holiday Inn Express® in Springfield, Mo., His Fifth Springfield Property; Development of the Property Coincides With Opening Day of Nearby Hammons Field Baseball Stadium / March 2004


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