William & Mary Hall

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William & Mary Hall
"The Hall"
WMHall1.jpg
Location 751 Ukrop Way, Williamsburg, VA 23186
Coordinates 37°16′25″N 76°43′11″W / 37.273539°N 76.719745°W / 37.273539; -76.719745
Owner College of William & Mary
Operator College of William & Mary
Capacity Events: 11,300
Basketball: 8,600 (Kaplan Arena)
Field size 24,000 square feet (2,200 m2)
Surface Hardwood
Construction
Broke ground 1970
Opened 1971
Construction cost $5.3 million
($30.9 million in 2014 dollars[1])
General contractor Southeastern Construction Company
Tenants
William & Mary Tribe (NCAA) (1971–present)

William & Mary Hall is a building used for athletic events for The College of William & Mary Tribe sports teams in Williamsburg, Virginia. Kaplan Arena is the 8,600-seat multi-purpose arena within the Hall. When the extra bleachers are pulled out, however, it seats up to 11,300.[2] The arena's floor measures almost 24,000 square feet (2,200 m2).[3]

The Hall's lower level houses the coaching and staff offices for the school's athletic department. William & Mary Hall also hosts a seminar room, medical suite, and a gymnastics workout area.[2] Completed in 17 months by the Southeastern Construction Company of Charlotte, North Carolina, the building cost $5.3 million but was financed by state revenue bonds.[2]

History[edit]

Its name was granted in 2005 as part of a publicized funding effort by then-college president Gene Nichol. Between the 1920s and 1970s, the William & Mary Indians played basketball in Blow Gym, which now houses the graduate school of business, registrar, bursar, and other university offices. It hosted the last ECAC South men's basketball tournament in 1985 (the conference added more championships in the 1985–86 school year and was renamed the CAA). Retired jersey banners depicting some of W&M's own basketball greats hang from the rafters of Kaplan Arena. The arena opened in 1971 and is home to the Tribe basketball, gymnastics and volleyball teams.[2]

The Harlem Globetrotters and the Roller Derby, as well as other sports and entertainment acts, have also utilized Kaplan Arena as a venue over the years. "[People] in the Williamsburg area have seen auto shows, dog shows, Prince Charles, Glenn Close, a Billy Graham crusade, Bette Midler, Billy Joel, [the 1976 televised presidential debates] between candidates Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, the Shakespeare Players, a three-ring circus, and even a Howdy Doody show."[2] It also hosted the 9th G7 summit in 1983 for some of the world's political leaders, including Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and François Mitterrand. The Dalai Lama visited William & Mary on October 11, 2012, and spoke to a crowd of over 8,000 people at Kaplan Arena. [4]

The first ever event held in William and Mary Hall was a basketball game between the William and Mary Indians against the top 5 ranked University of North Carolina Tar Heels. The event took place before the construction on the Hall was complete. The most noticeable thing lacking during that game were doors on the back of the arena. Photos of the game show the sold out crowd dressed in winter coats and hats. The Tar Heels opted to spend half time on their team bus as opposed to the unfinished locker room. North Carolina won the game 101-72.

The first musical concert in Kaplan Arena, performed in 1971, was by Sly & the Family Stone. The record for the largest crowd to ever attend a concert was 13,514 for The Police in February 1982.[2] Other notable performers have included Bruce Springsteen, The Pretenders, My Chemical Romance, Muse, R.E.M., Sting, The Roots, The Grateful Dead, Nirvana, Williamsburg native Bruce Hornsby, 10,000 Maniacs, Beach Boys, Chicago, the Stone Temple Pilots, and Kendrick Lamar.[2]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 37°16′25″N 76°43′11″W / 37.273539°N 76.719745°W / 37.273539; -76.719745