James A. Rhodes Arena

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James A. Rhodes Arena
"The JAR"
James A. Rhodes Arena, 2019.jpg
James A. Rhodes Arena is located in Ohio
James A. Rhodes Arena
James A. Rhodes Arena
Location in OhioLocation in United States
James A. Rhodes Arena is located in the United States
James A. Rhodes Arena
James A. Rhodes Arena
James A. Rhodes Arena (the United States)
Location373 Carroll Street
Akron, Ohio 44303
OwnerUniversity of Akron
OperatorUniversity of Akron
Broke groundMarch 8, 1982
OpenedDecember 3, 1983
Construction cost$12.5 million
($30.8 million in 2019 dollars[1])
ArchitectThomas T. K. Zung
Akron Zips (NCAA)
Men's basketball (1983–present)
Women's basketball (1983–present)
Women's volleyball (1984–present)

James A. Rhodes Arena, nicknamed "The JAR," is an arena in Akron, Ohio, United States on the campus of the University of Akron. It was built next to and replaced the University's 3,000-seat Memorial Hall gymnasium. Named for former Ohio governor Jim Rhodes, the arena opened in 1983 and is home to the Akron Zips men's and women's basketball teams and women's volleyball team.


Interior, March 2010

The new facility was six years in the making. In 1977, the Ohio General Assembly appropriated $8 million to build a 10,000-seat building over the next two years. But by October 1978, when preliminary plans for the new complex were presented and accepted by the Ohio Board of Regents, the cost of construction had risen to $12.5 million.[2] So the University scrapped the original design in favor of a scaled-down version: a 125,538-square-foot (11,662.9 m2) building, including an 18,000-square-foot (1,700 m2) wood floor, designed by architect Thomas T. K. Zung. The University Board of Trustees approved the new version in July 1981, and ground was broken on March 8, 1982.

The building opened on December 3, 1983. The building sits on the eastern edge of campus, on the northeast corner of Union and Carroll streets, on a site that once served Fire Station No. 5 and a parking lot.[2]

The JAR hosted the Ohio Valley Conference men's basketball tournament in 1986.

In 2002, renovations included a new hardwood floor, four Opto Tech LED displays screen above the game floor, and a $1.1 million sound system. The new system, built under the guidance of the University Athletic audio engineers, replaced a distributed horn-powered PA system with very narrow dispersion angles, coupled with near-proximity coaxial speakers for the upper deck. This setup led to several hot zones and many fans wondering what the announcer said. That changed in 2005 with the installation of a fully zoned system employing EVH-model horn-loaded boxes coupled with six TX Series subwoofers in the South catwalk for the tipoff "Thunderstruck" kick. A separate zone was also included for the floor for the UA Dance Team and Basketball team warmups. Precision series EV combined amplifiers and DSPs tune the system. A Midas Venice series mixing console along with several channels of external dynamic channel processing, as well as better hyperspheric modulation accelerators, handle all audio inputs. The system has reached a 115 dB during games, and is rated up to 130 dB.[3] The facility seats 5,500 people on two floors. In addition to the court, the first level features locker rooms, a sports medicine and training facility, a ticket office, a fan team shop and meeting rooms.[3]

During the early 2000s, when LeBron James played on the boys basketball team from nearby St. Vincent - St. Mary High School, some home games were played at the JAR, where they typically outdrew the Zips' men's games.[4]

The decision to name the arena after former governor Rhodes was highly controversial; he ordered the Ohio National Guard to nearby Kent State University before the May 4, 1970 shootings. Because of anticipated protests, the dedication of the building was not publicly announced in advance.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-02-17. Retrieved 2009-02-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b http://www.gozips.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=10800&KEY=&ATCLID=319729[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ ESPN.com: NCB - Zips try to retake Akron from LeBron

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°4′33″N 81°30′31″W / 41.07583°N 81.50861°W / 41.07583; -81.50861