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Fairfield, Webster Bank Arena sign five-year deal through 2016-17

May 17, 2012, 9:44 PM EDT

Sydney Johnson, Jamel Fields AP

On Thursday it was announced that Fairfield University and Webster Bank Arena came to terms on a deal that means the Stags will continue playing their home games there until the end of the 2016-17 season.

Fairfield, who prior to moving into the Bridgeport arena in 2001 played all of their home games on campus at Alumni Hall, holds an overall record of 83-53 while going 29-8 at home over the last three seasons.

Remaining in Webster Bank Arena will help Sydney Johnson and his staff as they look to get the Stags back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1997.

“If you look at what’s been accomplished, specifically over the last couple of years, it shows how the foundation was built very solidly by moving the program ahead,” athletic director Gene Doris said.

“But we wouldn’t have been able to move the program ahead if Tim O’Toole didn’t take the risk to come here. And while Tim might not have benefited from the move, (the program’s) continued to move along, and we’re in a position now where we can be (a) Siena in our league.

“And I don’t know if we’d be able to do that without the partnership of this building.”

Fairfield loses Ryan Olander and Rakim Sanders from a team that reached the MAAC tournament final but they should once again contend in the MAAC due to their perimeter firepower.

Derek Needham, Colin Nickerson and Desmond Wade will all be seniors, and forward Maurice Barrow could be ready to emerge as one of the MAAC’s best players inside.

Having an attractive home to sell to recruits will only help Johnson and his staff as they look to bring Fairfield a championship.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.