Marriott Center

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J. Willard Marriott Center
Marriott Center with new seating.jpg
New seating, 2012
Location Brigham Young University
701 E University Parkway
Provo, Utah, U.S.
Coordinates 40°15′14″N 111°38′56″W / 40.254°N 111.649°W / 40.254; -111.649Coordinates: 40°15′14″N 111°38′56″W / 40.254°N 111.649°W / 40.254; -111.649
Owner Brigham Young University
Operator Brigham Young University
Capacity 18,987 (2015–present)
20,951 (2012–2015)
22,700 (1971–2012)
Opened 1971, 46 years ago
Tenants
BYU Cougars (NCAA)
men's and women's basketball
Provo is located in USA West
Provo
Provo
Location in the western United States

The Marriott Center is a multi-purpose arena in the western United States, located on the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. It is home to the BYU Cougars men's and women's basketball teams. The seating capacity for basketball games at the Marriott Center is officially 18,987.[1]

The largest basketball arena in the West Coast Conference (in which BYU competes for most sports, except football), it is among the largest on-campus basketball arenas in the nation. In addition to basketball, the Marriott Center is used for weekly devotionals and forums.

The elevation of the court is approximately 4,650 feet (1,420 m) above sea level.

History[edit]

The Marriott Center was named in honor of benefactor and hotel tycoon J. Willard Marriott, founder of the Marriott Corporation. When the arena opened 46 years ago in 1971, it passed the University of Minnesota's Williams Arena as the largest college basketball arena in the nation. It was also the largest venue in the nation built for basketball, larger than any NBA (or ABA) arena at that time. It lost both distinctions when the University of Kentucky opened Rupp Arena in 1976, but remained as the largest basketball-specific facility on a U.S. college campus until 1987, when the University of Tennessee opened Thompson–Boling Arena.

Marriott Center in 2006

Prior to 1971, the Cougars played basketball games at Smith Fieldhouse, which remains the primary venue for volleyball and gymnastics. The court was replaced in 2003 with a permanent floor.

Thomas S. Monson addressing the student body during a weekly devotional in 2008

The Marriott Center hosted the West Regionals of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament four times (1972, 1977, 1979, 1982), and the Western Athletic Conference men's basketball tournament in 1988.

On February 7, 1993, Cody Judy threatened church president Howard W. Hunter with a supposed bomb in front of a crowd of 15,000–17,000 onlookers in the Marriott Center.[2][3]

In 1999, the Marriott Center set an NCAA record for highest attendance for a men's volleyball match: 14,156 watched BYU defeat Long Beach State on February 19, shattering the previous record of 10,225 (held by Hawaii).[4]

Renovations[edit]

In April 2012, BYU announced renovations to the Marriott Center. The lower bench seating on the north side was replaced with prime chair seating. A new sound system was installed, and the men's and women's locker rooms were renovated. The changes in the lower seating lowered the Marriott Center’s capacity from 22,700 to 20,951.[5]

The remaining lower bench seating was replaced after the 2015 season, lowering seating capacity to around 19,000.[6] The new renovation also installed new video boards for the Marriott Center and the Marriott Center Annex building, where practice sessions take place for both teams. The Marriott Center Annex (nicknamed the "Y" MCA) was placed between the Marriott Center and the BYU Broadcasting Building.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Basketball Facilities". BYU Cougars. Retrieved September 3, 2017. BYU's 18,987-seat basketball arena is truly a hoop heaven. 
  2. ^ "California Man Threatens President Hunter, Fireside Audience With Fake Bomb" by Gail Sinnott and Carri P. Jenkins, BYU Magazine, February 1993, pages 15–16
  3. ^ Daily Universe covers fireside threat on Pres. Hunter Archived 2010-01-30 at the Wayback Machine., by Alicia Barney, BYU Daily Universe, 8 December 2005
  4. ^ Honolulu Star-Bulletin Sports: UH falls to BYU
  5. ^ BYU Marriott Center Upgrades Seating, by Digital Universe universe.byu.edu, 13 April 2012
  6. ^ Marriott Center renovations, by Digital Universe, 7 July 2015
  7. ^ BYU announces 3 major upgrades to the Marriott Center, by Deseret News deseretnews.com, 11 February 2015

External links[edit]

Media related to Marriott Center at Wikimedia Commons