Explaining the Challenge

Donors can double the impact of their gift by taking advantage of the Schickler Challenge, and multi-year pledges are eligible for the matching gift. For example, a $30,000 pledge over three years allows a donor to double his/her impact to $60,000 and the multi-year pledge creates the flexibility to pay the gift over time. To discuss a multi-year pledge, please contact Matt Lyons at matt.lyons@drake.edu or at 515-271-4628.


The Knapp Center Renovation Project will transform the gameday experience for Bulldog fans beginning with enhancements to seating, hospitality, premium seating options and concessions. The environment created by these enhancements align with our student-athletes' uncompromising commitment to excellence and pursuit of championships. The Schickler Challenge provided donors the opportunity to have their gift doubled to the Knapp Center Renovation Project, so long as the pledge is made by December 2nd, 2021.

premium Seating

Exclusive and private seating options with amenities for you and all your guests

enhanced gameday

Improved gameday experience for all fans with improved seating and amenities like upgraded concessions

Home court advantage

Adding seats to the corner of the lower level will not only make for a more intimate gathering but also intensify the atmosphere of the Knapp Center

Sports MedicinE

New athletic training and hydrotherapy space to be located near the locker rooms of men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball teams, which will alleviate strain on current training room



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All lower level seating will be replaced and corners will be filled in creating a true lower-level bowl. Handrails will be added to all lower-level aisles in the first phase and the center sections on the north and south sides will have wider, cushioned seating.


New premium seating option in southeast and northeast corners of lower level with intimate views of the action. Can hold up to six lounge seats.

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Corner premium seating spaces offers a gameday experience to entertain from 4-20 guests at high-top tables and standing room options.


A large and spacious area to grab a drink and bite to eat before the game or at halftime. Will include a sizeable bar with seating and standing room plus space for additional seating with tabletops.

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In the fall of 2019, Paul and Claudia Schickler committed $5 million to Drake University to help jump-start funding for two campus initiatives. The Schicklers directed $2 million at that time to elevate the fan experience at Drake men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and volleyball contests by renovating the Knapp Center. Recently, the Schicklers added an additional $1 million for the Knapp Center renovation through a matching gift challenge. 


To encourage philanthropic support of the Knapp Center Renovation Project, the Schicklers matched every gift to this project up to the $1 million total between August 1, 2021 and December 2, 2021. Donors could double the impact of their gift by taking advantage of the Schickler Challenge, and multi-year pledges are eligible for the matching gift.

Following the announcement, Drake fans and supporters heeded the call for support and stepped up to the challenge. In total, 42 donors have supported the Schickler Challenge for a total of $1,303,875. With the Schickler’s $1 million match, the total impact of this challenge totals $2,303,875.



The Knapp Center has been a great home for Drake’s men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball teams since 1992. However, the building has not seen any significant structural upgrades since it went into service nearly 30 years ago. Over the next two summers, the Knapp Center Renovation Project will transform the gameday atmosphere for Bulldog fans and improve the experiences for our student-athletes.

The initial phase of the Knapp Center Renovation Project will:

  • Improve seating in the lower bowl of the arena

  • Create a new hospitality space

  • Develop a sports medicine center for our basketball and volleyball programs.

The second phase of the project will focus on:

  • Improvements to the upper level of seating

  • New soundsystem

  • Enhancements to the atrium.

Help position Drake Athletics for continued success by supporting the Knapp Center Renovation Project.