Bud Walton Arena

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Bud Walton Arena
The Basketball Palace of Mid-America
BudWaltonArena1.jpg
Location 1270 West Leroy Pond Drive
Fayetteville, AR 72701-5570
Owner University of Arkansas
Operator University of Arkansas
Capacity 19,368 (2009-present)
19,200 (1993–2009)
Record attendance 20,320 (January 26, 1997 vs. Kentucky)
Surface Hardwood Floor
Construction
Broke ground March 28, 1992[1]
Opened November 29, 1993
Construction cost $30 Million
($49 million in 2014 dollars[2])
Architect Rosser International[1]
Mott Mobley McGowan & Griffin[1]
General contractor Huber, Hunt & Nichiols[1]
Tenants
Arkansas Razorbacks men's and women's basketball teams (1993-present)

Bud Walton Arena (also known as the Basketball Palace of Mid-America) is the home to the men's and women's basketball teams of the University of Arkansas, known as the Razorbacks. It is located on the campus of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas and has a seating capacity of 19,368, which is the fifth largest for an on-campus arena in the United States.

Construction[edit]

The arena is named after James "Bud" Walton, co-founder of Wal-Mart, who donated a large portion of the funds needed to build the arena. Walton purportedly gave 15 million, or around half of the construction cost.[3] Construction of the arena took only 18 months, a short time considering the size of the undertaking.

When it was built, it was touted as a larger version of Barnhill Arena, the team's former home. In hopes of recreating the formidable home-court advantage the Razorbacks enjoyed at Barnhill, architect Rosser International built an arena that, as it put it, had "more seats in less space than in any other facility of the same type anywhere in the world."[4]

Early years[edit]

The arena has been the home to the Razorbacks since November 1993; the men's team won the national championship[5] in the arena's first season of operation. The basketball team's former home, Barnhill Arena was renovated into a volleyball-specific facility and now houses the Razorback women volleyball team.[6]

In its early years, Nolan Richardson's teams frequently attracted standing-room-only crowds of over 20,000.

Improvements[edit]

Interior view of Bud Walton Arena.

The past few years have brought a number of enhancements and improvements to the arena. In 2004, a new custom scoreboard was debuted which is 24 feet, three inches wide by 22 feet tall, features four video screens, each 12 feet, six inches wide by eight feet, 10 inches tall. (Also, there is an LED ring at the top that is used to display game statistics.) In 2005, the locker rooms were remodeled, and a lounge and meeting area were added. Prior to the 2008–09 season, the University of Arkansas expanded the arena by eight luxury suites, raising the total to 47. In addition, courtside seating was added, the student section was reconfigured, and press seating was moved to the East side of the arena behind the basket. LED ribbon boards were also installed around the ring between the upper and lower decks and were first used during Arkansas's upset of #4 Oklahoma on December 30, 2008.[7] The addition of these improvements expanded seating to 19,368. Prior to the 2013-14 season, the University of Arkansas, again, reconfigured press seating to the southeast corner of the bottom bowl, reserving its existing place for an expanded student section, commonly referred to as "The Trough."

Statistics of Bud Walton Arena[edit]

Average attendance (17 of 21 seasons ranked in the top 15 in the country): 16,265

Attendance Record: 20,320 vs. Kentucky January 26, 1997

Attendance Chart (men) for every year Bud Walton Arena has been in operation[7]

Season Overall Record SEC Record Overall Attendance Average Attendance Rank Nationally
1993–94 16–0 (1.000)

(NCAA National Champions)

8–0 (1.000) 322,146 20,134 4th
1994–95 14–1 (.933)

(NCAA Runner-Up)

7–1 (.875) 301,212 20,081 4th
1995–96 14–4 (.778) 6–2 (.750) 346,698 19,261 5th
1996–97 15–3 (.833) 6–2 (.750) 329,540 18,308 5th
1997–98 15–0 (1.000) 8–0 (1.000) 291,089 19,406 4th
1998–99 14–2 (.875) 6–2 (.750) 292,704 18,294 5th
1999–00 9–5 (.643) 5–3 (.625) 249,300 17,807 6th
2000–01 16–2 (.889) 7–1 (.875) 292,057 16,225 9th
2001–02 11–5 (.688) 5–3 (.625) 241,033 15,065 13th
2002–03 8–8 (.500) 3–5 (.375) 236,638 14,790 14th
2003–04 10–6 (.625) 4–4 (.500) 236,676 14,792 13th
2004–05 13–3 (.813) 5–3 (.625) 252,608 15,788 9th
2005–06 15–1 (.938) 7–1 (.875) 239,336 14,958 12th
2006–07 13–3 (.813) 5–3 (.625) 267,520 16,720 9th
2007–08 15–1 (.938) 7–1 (.875) 274,360 17,148 8th
2008–09 12–6 (.667) 2–6 (.250) 288,781 16,043 11th
2009–10 11-8 (.579) 5-3 (.625) 256,667 13,509 17th
2010–11 15-3 (.833) 5-3 (.625) 216,999 12,055 29th
2011–12 17-3 (.850) 5-3 (.625) 262,329 13,116 23rd
2012–13 17-1 (.944) 9-0 (1.000) 252,857 14,047 17th
2013–14 17-2 (.895) 7-2 (.778) 280,465 14,023 10th
Totals 287–67 (.811) 122–48 (.718) 5,669,439 16,265 Avg. Rank: N/A

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Waldon, George (March 29, 1993). "Everybody Wants a Seat in Bud's Building". Arkansas Business. Retrieved August 14, 2013. 
  2. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  3. ^ "Old Model, New Money". Scout.com. Retrieved January 13, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Bud Walton Arena". University of Arkansas Athletic Department. Retrieved January 13, 2008. 
  5. ^ Berkowitz, Steve (April 5, 1994). "Arkansas hits Hog Heaven With NCAA Title". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 13, 2008. 
  6. ^ "Barnhill Arena: Home of the Lady Razorbacks". University of Arkansas Athletic Department. Retrieved January 13, 2008. 
  7. ^ a b "Basketball at Bud Walton Arena". University of Arkansas Athletic Department. September 17, 2013. Retrieved November 12, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°03′41″N 94°10′41″W / 36.061518°N 94.178188°W / 36.061518; -94.178188