Convocation Center (Ohio University)

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Convocation Center
The Convo
Center
Location 95 Richland Avenue
Athens, Ohio 45701
Broke ground 1965
Opened December 3, 1968
Owner Ohio University
Operator Ohio University
Surface Two-layer maple wood
Construction cost $8.2 million
($55.6 million in 2014 dollars[1])
Architect Brubaker and Brandt[2]
Structural engineer Fling & Eeman, Inc.[2]
General contractor Knowlton Construction Company[2]
Capacity 13,080
Tenants
Ohio Bobcats (NCAA) (1968–present)

Convocation Center is a 13,080-seat multi-purpose arena that is home to the Ohio Bobcats basketball, volleyball, and wrestling teams. The first men's basketball game in the arena featured an 80–70 Ohio victory over the Indiana Hoosiers on December 3, 1968.

The Convocation Center, affectionately called "The Convo," was designed by Brubaker and Brandt Architects of Columbus, Ohio and built by Knowlton Construction Company of Bellefontaine, Ohio. The arena houses offices for the Ohio Athletics Department numerous coaches' offices, team locker rooms, and athletic training rooms. Additionally it houses offices and classrooms for the computer science branch of the Russ College of Engineering. Over the years, there have been numerous renovations, some of the most recent being in 1997, where improved lighting, an expanded press row, and a wider camera deck were added to the arena. Also, The Vern and Marion Alden Basketball Suite which houses offices and meeting rooms for Ohio men's and women's basketball was completed. A few years later, the locker rooms for both basketball teams were expanded and given new furniture, carpeting, and individual wooden lockers. Following the 2004 season, more renovations occurred as a new playing surface was installed and two large Daktronics video boards were added to the venue.

The Convocation Center's atmosphere has helped the Bobcats to win over 75% of their home games since the opening of The Convo in 1968. At the beginning of the 2001–2002 season, a new student cheering section, dubbed the "O Zone," was started for men's basketball games.

The Convocation Center brought in its largest crowd on February 28, 1970, when 14,102 fans were in attendance to watch the Bobcats men's basketball team defeat the Bowling Green Falcons 77–76.[3] That year Ohio finished 20–5, winning the Mid-American Conference and advancing to the NCAA Tournament.

In addition to Ohio basketball, volleyball, and wrestling contests, the Convo hosts numerous other events annually. The facility has held local high school basketball games as well as high school state tournament games as well as a variety of concerts, including a May 17, 1969 concert by Led Zeppelin,[4] professional wrestling events, and special university events, most notably Ohio University's graduation ceremonies.

The Convocation Center is used for Thursday night rehearsals for The Ohio University Marching 110 when the weather causes temperatures to drop far too low for these late-night sessions. The band uses these rehearsals to learn/polish dance routines for their home football games on the basketball court. The building was also used for several of the Marching 110's LP recording sessions in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

Ohio University Athletics Director Jim Schaus announced plans to renovate the Convocation Center athletic training center by 2012 as part of the Bobcat Renaissance, which is an initiative geared toward improving OU's athletic programs.[5]

The Arena has also hosted some events of WCW.

Largest attendance[edit]

Rank Date Attendance Event
1 February 28, 1970 14,102 Ohio vs. Bowling Green (Men's Basketball)
2 December 30, 1997 13,083 Ohio vs. Kentucky (Men's Basketball)
3 February 15, 1997 13,021 Ohio vs. Miami (OH) (Men's Basketball)
4 January 21, 2012 13,011 Ohio vs. Miami (OH) (Men's Basketball)
5 January 8, 1994 12,824 Ohio vs. Miami (OH) (Men's Basketball)

Source : Ohio History and Records 2013-14

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Lightweight Dome at Ohio University
  3. ^ http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/ohio/sports/m-baskbl/auto_pdf/RecordBook.pdf
  4. ^ Cross, Charles; Flannigan, Erik (1991). Led Zeppelin: Heaven and Hell. Harmony Books. ISBN 978-0-517-58308-1. 
  5. ^ The Post

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°19′23″N 82°6′20″W / 39.32306°N 82.10556°W / 39.32306; -82.10556