GSU Sports Arena

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Georgia State University Sports Arena
GSU Sports Arena Exterior.jpg
Location 10 Peachtree Center Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Coordinates 33°45′5″N 84°23′10″W / 33.75139°N 84.38611°W / 33.75139; -84.38611Coordinates: 33°45′5″N 84°23′10″W / 33.75139°N 84.38611°W / 33.75139; -84.38611
Owner Georgia State University
Operator Georgia State University
Capacity 4,500[1]
Construction
Broke ground 1972
Opened 1973
Tenants
Georgia State Panthers (Men's and women's basketball)

The Georgia State University Sports Arena is an indoor arena located in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. It is the home of the basketball teams of Georgia State University and hosted the badminton competition of the 1996 Summer Olympics. Georgia State's women's volleyball team uses the facility as well.[2]

Description[edit]

The GSU Sports Arena during a men's basketball game

The Georgia State Sports Arena consists of four stories. The gymnasium floor is on the third level and is the home court for men's and women's basketball and women's volleyball. Basketball seating is available on the third and fourth floors. Locker rooms are located on the second floor. The Georgia State University athletics department is located on the first floor of the building. Also in the building is a Student-Athlete Learning Lab.

The main court (named the Charles "Lefty" Driesell Court for the former Panthers men's basketball coach) has a four sided scoreboard hanging from the ceiling as well as a "JumboTron" style video signage board on the south end wall.

History[edit]

Construction of the arena began in 1972 as class space for physical education classes and as a recreation center for students. Men's basketball began using it as its home court in 1973.

On December 12, 2003, the main court was named the Charles "Lefty" Driesell Court after the former men's basketball coach. A ceremony was held during the halftime of an 88-57 victory over the University of South Alabama.

Renovations in 2004 replaced the playing floor of the main court as well as painting the walls. During the 2002-03 season, a four sided score board was added hanging from the ceiling as well as a "jumbotron" style screen on the south wall. More recently, a 225 Student-Athlete Learning Lab was opened on the first floor providing athlete advisement, study halls, tutorials, and computer labs.

Prior to the 2013 men's and women's basketball seasons, the locker rooms were moved from the 2nd floor to the 3rd floor, taking up space previously used for large functions.[3] Renovations included the additions of a players lounge and conference hall, as well as stylized graphics lining the hallways and locker rooms.[4] [5] [6]

Future Renovations[edit]

On the 31st of May, 2012, the Georgia State University athletics department released a new master plan, including renovations to the existing Sports Arena. These renovations would remove the current escalator entrance to the sports arena and replace it with a new ticket plaza. New entrances will lead to a plaza on the first floor of the arena.

The current trophy case will be replaced by a new walk of fame leading through a corridor towards the courts. Also, a new team store will replace the current administrative offices. Two new escalators and elevators will be erected at the hall of fame and team store, serving as the main entrance to the arena.

The current court will be rotated 90 degrees to allow for 700 new seats. The total seat capacity after the renovation will be 4,100, up from the current 3,400. Additional handicap, standing room only, media areas, and premium seating will set the total capacity at 5,000. Due to the rotation of the court, a full bowl will be created surrounding the court. New premium boxes will be built above the lower bowl on either side of the court, a new media area will be built, and a new PAC lounge will be included.

Lighting will be improved, while a new video board will be hung above the court. New LED message boards will surround the court. New locker rooms will be constructed, along with new restrooms and concessions facilities.[7]

Although the NCAA requires a master facilities plan for movement to the Football Bowl Subdivision (where the Panthers moved to via the Sun Belt Conference on July 1, 2013), there is currently no set date for implementation of the Sports Arena renovations.[8] Instead, the athletics department has stated that construction of these facilities will occur as soon as funding becomes available. The facilities will be funded entirely through private donations.[9]

Events[edit]

  • In 2002 and 2007, the arena hosted ESPN's College Slam Dunk and 3-point Championships during the 2002 and 2007 Final Four competition.
  • Various graduations both for Georgia State University students and highschool students are held annually at the arena.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ McCurdy, John. "Mr.". Stadium Journey. Retrieved 2011-06-22. 
  2. ^ Georgia State Sports Arena at georgiastatesports.com, URL accessed November 26, 2010.
  3. ^ Roberson, Doug (22 October 2013). "Inside GSU's new locker rooms". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Roberson, Doug. "Inside GSU's new locker rooms". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  5. ^ Roberson, Doug. "Inside GSU's new locker rooms". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  6. ^ Roberson, Doug. "Inside GSU's new locker rooms". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  7. ^ "Sports Arena Master Plan". Georgia State University Athletics. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  8. ^ Roberson, Doug. "The FBS application and The Master Plan…two things that go great together". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  9. ^ "Georgia State Athletics Master Plan.". Georgia State Athletics Master Plan. Georgia State University Athletics. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  10. ^ Laker Newsletter at albertbelle.net, URL accessed November 26, 2010.

References[edit]