Marriott Center

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J. Willard Marriott Center
Marriott Center 1.JPG

Marriott Center with new seating.jpg
Location Provo, Utah, United States
Operator Brigham Young University
Capacity 19,000 (2015-present)
20,951 (2012-2015)
22,700 (1971-2012)
Opened 1971
BYU Cougars men's and women's basketball

The Marriott Center is a 19,000-seat multi-purpose arena 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 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 Marriott Center was named in honor of benefactor and hotel tycoon J. Willard Marriott, founder of the Marriott Corporation. When the arena opened in 1971, it replaced the University of Minnesota's Williams Arena as the largest college basketball arena in the United States. It was also the largest venue in the nation built for basketball, being larger than any NBA arena at that time. It would lose both distinctions when the University of Kentucky men's basketball team moved into Rupp Arena in 1976, but would remain the nation's largest basketball-specific facility on a college campus until 1987, when the University of Tennessee opened Thompson-Boling Arena.

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.[1] The remaining lower bench seating would be replaced after the 2015 season, lowering seating capacity to around 19,000.[2] The new renovation would also install new video boards for the Marriott Center and the Marriott Center Annex building, where practice sessions would take place for both teams. The Marriott Center Annex (nicknamed the "Y" MCA) would be placed between the Marriott Center and the BYU Broadcasting Building.[3]

Previously, the Cougars basketball team played at the Smith Fieldhouse. The court was replaced in 2003 with a permanent floor.

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

The facility hosted the 1988 Western Athletic Conference men's basketball tournament. It also hosted the West Regionals of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship in 1972, 1977, 1979 and 1982.

On February 7, 1993, Cody Judy threatened Howard W. Hunter with a supposed bomb in front of a crowd of 15,000–17,000 onlookers in the Marriott Center.[4][5]

On February 19, 1999, the Marriott Center set an NCAA record for highest attendance for a men's volleyball match: 14,156 fans watched BYU defeat Long Beach State, shattering the previous record of 10,225 (held by Hawaii).[6]


  1. ^ BYU Marriott Center Upgrades Seating, by Digital Universe, 13 April 2012
  2. ^ Marriott Center renovations, by Digital Universe, 7 July 2015
  3. ^ BYU announces 3 major upgrades to the Marriott Center, by Deseret News, 11 February 2015
  4. ^ "California Man Threatens President Hunter, Fireside Audience With Fake Bomb" by Gail Sinnott and Carri P. Jenkins, BYU Magazine, February 1993, pages 15–16
  5. ^ Daily Universe covers fireside threat on Pres. Hunter, by Alicia Barney, BYU Daily Universe, 8 December 2005
  6. ^ Honolulu Star-Bulletin Sports: UH falls to BYU

External links[edit]

Media related to Marriott Center at Wikimedia Commons Coordinates: 40°15′15″N 111°38′58″W / 40.25417°N 111.64944°W / 40.25417; -111.64944