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|The Mecca of College Basketball|
Photo preceding The 2006 Hoops Mania Festivities
|Former names||du Pont Pavilion (1986–1997)|
Villanova, PA 19085
|Opened||February 1, 1986|
|Construction cost||$24.9 million
($53.8 million in 2016 dollars)
|Architect||Tully International Inc.|
|Villanova University Wildcats
Philadelphia Freedoms (WTT) (2010–present)
The Pavilion is a 6,500-seat multi-purpose arena in Villanova, Pennsylvania, United States, about 10 miles outside of Philadelphia. It was built in 1985, and is home to the Villanova University Wildcats basketball teams. It is recognizable from the outside for its hyperbolic paraboloid roofline, similar to Alfond Arena at the University of Maine. It replaced the still-existing Villanova Field House, later renamed the "Jake Nevin Field House," a small arena-auditorium built in 1932. The first men's game played at the Pavilion took place on Saturday, February 1, 1986 versus the University of Maryland. The basketball court only takes up half the space of the building; it is expandable as an indoor track facility and recreation center. For games where larger crowds are expected, Villanova plays at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia (where Villanova holds the record for largest Pennsylvania crowd to ever watch a college basketball game, att. 20,859). The Pavilion is known for its famed student section, which constitutes a full third of the seating. Located in the south end of the Pavilion the student bleachers seat 2,000 students but have been known to be filled with as many as 2,500 students.
The facility was originally known as John Eleuthère du Pont Pavilion, as it was funded in part by John Eleuthère du Pont, a member of the wealthy and influential Du Pont family. In 1997, the du Pont name was removed from the facility, with the family's tacit permission, after John was convicted of the murder of Olympic wrestling gold medalist Dave Schultz.