Convocation Center (Eastern Michigan University)

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Convocation Center
The Convo
East mich convocation pic.jpg
Location 799 North Hewitt Road
Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197
Public transit Trinity from EMU Student Center
Owner Eastern Michigan University
Operator Eastern Michigan University
Executive suites 8
Capacity 8,824
Construction
Broke ground 1997
Opened December 9, 1998
Construction cost $29.6 million
($43.5 million in 2017 dollars[1])
Architect Rossetti Architects
General contractor Barton Malow
Tenants
Eastern Michigan Eagles
Website
http://www.EMUtix.com
Exterior 2008
Convocation Center inside 2010

The EMU Convocation Center is a multi-purpose sports and entertainment complex located on Eastern Michigan University’s west campus. Built in 1998 as part of a campus upgrade initiative, the EMU Convocation Center is a 204,316 square-foot structure that features three user-friendly levels including arena, concourse, and office. The EMU Convocation Center also boasts versatile seating configurations to maximize space usage.

The building serves as the home to EMU athletics and also hosts a wide variety of special events including concerts, conferences, graduations, fairs, trade shows, political rallies, and more. Some of our more notable events include Jay-Z, Bob Seger, Bernie Sanders, Ellie Goulding, The Killers, Tiesto, St. Joseph Charity Ball, Harlem Globetrotters, and the WNBA Finals.

History[edit]

Construction began in the spring of 1997 and culminated with its grand opening, December 9, 1998, with a men's basketball game against the University of Michigan in front of a crowd of 7,647.[2] Since its opening, it has served as home court for the Eagles' men's and women's basketball and volleyball teams. The EMU wrestling team has held several dual meets on the arena floor.[2] It has also served as the site for two Mid-American Conference Championships. EMU hosted the 2000 MAC Gymnastics Championship and the 2002 MAC Wrestling Championship. It has been the host site for four first-round MAC Women's Basketball Tournament games, three first-round MAC Volleyball Tournament games and one first-round game for the men's basketball squad.

Along with their commitment to EMU Athletics, it has hosted concerts. It is also the site for EMU's spring and winter commencement ceremonies. Other events have included youth sporting competitions, high school commencements, trade shows, job fairs, conventions, charity and community awareness events and a circus.[2]

Technical Information[edit]

The 204,316-square-foot (18,981.6 m2) facility features three levels (arena, concourse, and office) and three seating configurations to maximize crowd capacity and space usage. The largest seating capacity is for center-stage entertainment activities, with 9,500 seats available. The capacity for basketball games is approximately 8,800.[2]

EMU's athletic administration is located on the office level, along with offices for the EMU football, men's and women's basketball and volleyball coaching staffs. The EMU Sports Information Office, as well as offices for the staff, are located on the office level.

The main athletic training room and office space for EMU's sports medicine staff is located on the arena level as are strength and conditioning facilities and equipment rooms.

Floor and capacity[edit]

  • 360 Center Stage (9,370)
  • Athletic Events (8,800)
  • End Stage (7,765; sold at 270 degrees / 6,442; sold at 180 degrees)

Rentable Spaces[edit]

  • Arena Floor (with seats retracted)
    • 170' x 120'
    • 20,000 Sq. Ft.
  • Arena Floor (without seats retracted)
    • 131' x 79'
    • 10,000 Sq. Ft.
  • Atrium
    • 66' x 103'
    • 7,000 Sq. Ft.
  • Eagle's Nest
    • 75 person capacity
    • can be divided into three smaller rooms
    • Premium viewing area for the arena
  • Dressing Rooms / Auxiliary Spaces
    • Two visiting team locker rooms, each equipped with carpet, 16 full lockers and full shower and restroom amenities
    • Two officials locker rooms, each equipped with four full lockers and full shower and restroom amenities
    • Media Room A, a 33' x 17' carpeted room capable of seating up to 60 theater style. This room is ideal for production or food service location

Stage[edit]

The Convocation Center's SICO Roll-N-Set Portable System is capable of a maximum size of 64' x 40' and comprises the following:

  • Eighteen 8' x 8' H bases (48" to 72" variable height)
  • Eight 4' x 8' reversible decks (green carpet or flat black performance surface)
  • Twelve 8' black stage scrims (48" to 72" variable height)
  • Two 4' guardrails
  • Sixteen 8' guardrails
  • Two adjustable height 10-rise staircases
  • SICO Riser
    • Twelve 6' x 8' H tri-height risers with reversible decks (18", 24", 30")
    • Three 4' x 30' ramps with rails (elevates from 0" to 30")
    • Nine 8' black riser scrims (18" to 30" variable height)
    • Two 2-rise portable steps with rails

Rigging[edit]

The steel height in the facility is 76' 1" to the high steel and 47' 9" to the low steel. A rigging grid is located above the catwalk on the south end of the facility (above the end stage configuration) and is accessible from the catwalk. The capacity of the grid is 40,000 pounds, distributed. The grid is also equipped with both a vertical and horizontal fall arrest system.

Electrical[edit]

Equipped with a total of 1,100 amps of show power, the Convocation Center has the capability of utilizing both cam locks and pigtail connections. The following configurations are available:

  • One 100 amp, 3 phase, 5 wire (120/208 volt)
  • One 200 amp, 3 phase, 5 wire (120/208 volt)
  • One 400 amp, 3 phase, 5 wire (120/208 volt)

The Convocation Center is also equipped with two 200 amp 480 volt service (with portable transformer) for trade shows. This setup also includes the appropriate cord sets and boxes for trade show booths.

  • Distance from power to stage = 75 feet

Parking[edit]

  • 986 spots available at the Convocation Center
  • 54 VIP spots available at the Convocation Center
  • 1,036 spots at Rynearson Stadium parking across the street
  • 8 bus/truck spots at the Convocation Center loading dock

Loading Dock[edit]

The loading dock can be entered from the Westview Drive entrance, which is located to the east of the Convocation Center. The loading dock has the following specifications:

  • Parking for eight busses/trucks
  • Two 12-foot roll up loading doors
  • One 16-foot loading door with elephant door access to main area
  • One 12-foot loading door with hydraulic leveling system
  • Distance from dock to stage = 90 feet
  • Distance from dock to mix station = 150 feet
  • Distance from dock to power = 50 feet[3]

Athletic Events[edit]

EMU Basketball[edit]

On March 18, 2014, Eastern Michigan received national attention when a CollegeInsider.com tournament game at the Convo – EMU's first men's basketball postseason game in 16 years – drew 373 fans. Senior forward Glenn Bryant tweeted his frustration at the small crowd, which was picked up by national media.[4] Despite a 22-win season, EMU drew an average of 901 fans per home game in 2013–14 (10.2% of capacity). In 2014-15, EMU chalked up 21 wins and another postseason berth (at the College Basketball Invitational); however, attendance was even lower, just 776 per contest. (Eastern has never come close to selling out the Convo Center in its history; even the 1998 opener against Michigan featured over a thousand empty seats.)

2008 WNBA Finals[edit]

Due to the unavailability of The Palace of Auburn Hills, the Detroit Shock moved three WNBA playoff games to the Convo Center in the fall of 2008: two games in the Eastern Conference Finals and Game 3 of the 2008 WNBA Finals, against the San Antonio Silver Stars. The Shock won game 3 and the WNBA title, 76-60; the contest was broadcast nationally on ESPN.

Special Events[edit]

The building serves as the home to EMU athletics and also hosts a wide variety of special events including concerts, conferences, graduations, fairs, trade shows, political rallies, and more. Some of our more notable events include Jay-Z, Bob Seger, Bernie Sanders, Ellie Goulding, The Killers, Tiesto, St. Joseph Charity Ball, Harlem Globetrotters, and the WNBA Finals.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center: History". Eastern Michigan University. Retrieved June 19, 2011. 
  3. ^ "EMUTIX". www.emich.edu. Retrieved 2016-10-31. 
  4. ^ Vance, Bryan M. (March 18, 2014). "373 People Came to Watch EMU Beat Norfolk State Tuesday Night, Glenn Bryant Isn't Happy". SB Nation. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  5. ^ "EMUtix.com". 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°15′16″N 83°38′50″W / 42.25444°N 83.64722°W / 42.25444; -83.64722