Hank McCamish Pavilion

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Hank McCamish Pavilion
The Thrillerdome
Alexander Memorial Coliseum IN THE FOREGROUND AND DOWNTOWN ATLANTA IN THE BACKGROUND.JPG
The Alexander Memorial Coliseum in July 2010
Former names Alexander Memorial Coliseum (1956-2012)
Location 965 Fowler St, Atlanta, Georgia 30332
Coordinates 33°46′51″N 84°23′34″W / 33.78083°N 84.39278°W / 33.78083; -84.39278Coordinates: 33°46′51″N 84°23′34″W / 33.78083°N 84.39278°W / 33.78083; -84.39278
Opened November 30, 1956
November 9, 2012 (re-opening)
Closed March 6, 2011 (renovations)
Owner Georgia Tech
Operator Georgia Tech
Construction cost $1.6 million
($13.9 million in 2014 dollars[1])
$45 million (2012 renovation)
Architect Aeck Associates of Atlanta
Capacity 8,600
Tenants
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (Men's & women's basketball)
Atlanta Hawks (NBA) (1968–1972, 1997–1999)

The Hank McCamish Pavilion (formerly known as the Alexander Memorial Coliseum, also nicknamed The Dome, The Thrillerdome,[2] The Tit, or The McTit) is an indoor arena located in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. It is the home of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets men's basketball and Yellow Jackets women's basketball teams, which represent the Georgia Institute of Technology.

The venue previously hosted the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA from 1968–1972 and again from 1997–1999.[3] Tech's women's volleyball team occasionally uses the facility as well, primarily for NCAA tournament games and other matches that draw crowds that would overflow the O'Keefe Gymnasium.[4]

History[edit]

Alexander Memorial Coliseum[edit]

View of Alexander Memorial Coliseum from the southeast
Alexander Memorial Coliseum from the Southwest.

The 270-foot-diameter (82 m) Alexander Coliseum opened in 1956 at the intersection of 10th Street and Fowler on the northeast end of the Georgia Tech campus.[3] The building was named for William A. Alexander,[5] Georgia Tech's football coach from 1920–1944 and the third athletic director (after John W. Heisman);[3] his tenure as coach included the 1929 Rose Bowl team.[6] The huge dome was constructed in a way in which there are no support pillars to obstruct the view of any fans during games.[7] It served as a replacement for the Third Street Gymnasium (later known as the Heisman Gym) on the campus of Georgia Tech, an 1,800 seat arena opened just eighteen years before.[8] The arena's original capacity was 6,996 seats, though crowds larger than that sometimes assembled for big games.

Between 1956 and 1996, the Coliseum had undergone three major renovations. In 1986, 2,150 seats were added in what was previously an upper walkway around the rim of the arena. In 1989–1990, 750 seats were added in the endzone areas. The last major renovation was during 1995–1996, prior to the 1996 Summer Olympics. The floor was lowered four feet to increase seating, twelve luxury suites were added, and many of the benches were replaced with chairback seats. Sightlines were also improved for those sitting in the first few rows of the side of the court opposite the benches.[3] Connected to the south end of the Coliseum are the Luck Building,[3] and the Coliseum Annex.[9] The facility was renamed Alexander Memorial Coliseum at McDonald's Center for 10 seasons from 1996 to 2005[10] in conjunction with a $5.5 million donation to help pay for the mid-1990s renovation, which increased seating capacity to 9,191.[3]

The Coliseum played host to the Atlanta Hawks after they moved from St. Louis while The Omni was under construction,[11] and again between 1997 and 1999, after the Omni was demolished and while Philips Arena was being built on its site. During the latter period, the Hawks played most of their home games at the Georgia Dome with the remainder at the Coliseum.[12]

During the 1996 Summer Olympics, the arena hosted the Olympic boxing tournament.[3]

For most of its life, the Coliseum has hosted many rounds of the Georgia High School Association men's and women's state tournament games. The first integrated high school state tournament in Georgia history was played there before record overflow crowds in 1967.

The arena received its nickname, "The Thrillerdome," from former Tech color radio announcer and current ESPN broadcaster Brad Nessler, for the many close games it witnessed during the 1983-84 season.

In 2003, the playing surface was renamed "Cremins Court" in honor of Bobby Cremins, Georgia Tech's head coach from 1979 to 2000.

On February 21, 2008, the men's basketball game between Georgia Tech and the University of Virginia was cancelled due to a leak in the roof that was caused by hard rainfall that had accumulated over the day. The decision to cancel the game was based on the fact that officials at the game could not find where the water was coming through and because officials had no way to stop it. The game was delayed for about a half-hour, and then ultimately postponed until March 3, 2008.[13]

On March 14, 2008, a tornado ripped through downtown Atlanta, causing damage to the CNN Center, Philips Arena, and Georgia Dome. During the weekend, the SEC was set to play at the Georgia Dome on Thursday through Sunday. The tornado struck while the third of four quarterfinal games was in overtime. While that game was completed, SEC officials decided not to risk playing the fourth. Later that night, the conference decided to move the 2008 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament to the smaller Coliseum, including the championship game. Due to the smaller capacity, only players' families, school officials, credentialed media and 400 fans from each school were allowed to attend the remaining games.[14]

Hank McCamish Pavilion[edit]

Interiors of the Hank McCamish Pavilion following renovations.

On October 19, 2010, Georgia Tech announced that Alexander Memorial Coliseum would undergo a $45 million renovation and would be renamed Hank McCamish Pavilion in honor of a $15 million donation from the McCamish family. The facility's extensive renovation included reconstruction of the seating bowl, the addition of an upper level balcony and club seating, and the expansion of the concourse and plaza area. During the renovation, Georgia Tech's basketball teams played their 2011–2012 games at Philips Arena or Arena at Gwinnett Center.[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Robertson, Doug (October 19, 2010). "Want to See the New Thrillerdome". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved October 20, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Alexander Memorial Coliseum". Georgia Tech Athletics. Archived from the original on November 5, 2009. Retrieved November 5, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Georgia Tech Volleyball Hosts Final Scrimmage Saturday". Georgia Tech Athletics. Archived from the original on November 5, 2009. Retrieved November 5, 2009. 
  5. ^ Tech Timeline: 1950s
  6. ^ "Rose Bowl 1929". Rose Bowl History. Archived from the original on November 5, 2009. Retrieved November 5, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Domed College Arena Built Without Pillars". Popular Mechanics: 75. August 1956. 
  8. ^ "Kentucky's Heisman Gymnasium Record". Bigbluehistory.net. Archived from the original on November 5, 2009. Retrieved November 5, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Building Detail". Georgia Institute of Technology. Archived from the original on November 5, 2009. Retrieved November 5, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Antiguos y Actuales Estadios por Equipo". basketball.host22.com. Archived from the original on November 5, 2009. Retrieved November 5, 2009. 
  11. ^ 1968-72: Hawks Fly South To New Home at nba.com, URL accessed November 5, 2009. Archived 11/5/09
  12. ^ "1997-98: Hawks Overcome Obstacles". Atlanta Hawks. Archived from the original on November 5, 2009. Retrieved November 5, 2009. 
  13. ^ Associated Press (February 21, 2008). "Leaking Roof Delays Start of Virginia-Georgia Tech Game". ESPN. Archived from the original on November 5, 2009. Retrieved November 5, 2009. 
  14. ^ Associated Press (March 15, 2008). "Friends and Family Only: an SEC Tournament Like No Other". Sporting News. Archived from the original on November 5, 2009. Retrieved November 5, 2009. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]