Morgantown, WV 26505
|Owner||West Virginia University|
|Operator||West Virginia University|
|Broke ground||December 21, 1968|
|Opened||December 1, 1970|
|Construction cost||$10.4 million
($63.4 million in 2016 dollars)
|Architect||Silling Associates, Inc.|
|General contractor||McDevitt & Street Co.|
|West Virginia Mountaineers (NCAA DI) (1970–1999, 2000–present)|
The WVU Coliseum is a 14,000-seat multi-purpose arena which is located in the Evansdale campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. The circular arena features a poured concrete roof. It was built with state funds and replaced the WVU Fieldhouse, which seated 6,000.
The Coliseum, which opened in 1970, has more than 10.5 million cubic feet (300,000 m3) of space. It is home to West Virginia University Mountaineers sports teams, including the men's and women's basketball teams, men's wrestling, and women's teams in volleyball and gymnastics. There is also a 3,000-square-foot (280 m2) weight room located in the lower level of the Coliseum. The arena has nearly 100 offices, 13 lecture and seminar rooms, a dance studio, safety lab, racquetball and squash courts, and the Jerry West Mountaineer Room, which holds nearly 150 people for meetings. The arena also has more than 1,000 individual locker units in various dressing rooms available for students and staff.
The Coliseum has been used for music concerts but the concrete roof has poor sound distribution properties, so other venues in town are more appropriate for this purpose. The poor sound quality was purposeful, as it was the intention of the designers to cup the ceiling so that crowd noise generated at basketball games would be directed back to the floor. The seating at the venue was also designed for optimized viewing during sporting events, making the setup for concerts to be not as optimal as other large arenas.
The first event held at the Coliseum was a Grand Funk Railroad concert in 1970. The Coliseum was one of the sites for games of the 1974 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. Other National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men's Division I college basketball events it has hosted include the ECAC South Region Tournament organized by the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) in 1975 and 1976 and the Atlantic Ten Conference men's basketball tournament in 1984 and 1988.
During the 1998-99 season, the Jerry West Lounge, named for WVU and National Basketball Association Hall-of-Famer Jerry West, was formally dedicated. A display showcasing the highlights of the Mountaineer great flanks the entrance to the lounge. In November 2005, the University announced that a life size bronze statue of West would adorn the Blue Gate entrance of the Coliseum, and the statue has since been installed there. West's number is retired and a sign hangs over Seating Section 44 with "Jerry West 44" written on it. Hot Rod Hundley's number 33 also is retired and hangs from the walls.
In 1999-2000, the school was forced to play a year of games split between Wheeling and Charleston, West Virginia, and the gymnasium at nearby Fairmont State University while asbestos was removed from the Coliseum.
In 2004 the Coliseum underwent an upgrade which included renovations to the men's and women's locker rooms, construction of a player's lounge and team video theater, expansion of the equipment and training rooms, refurbishment of the Coliseum roof, and construction of a club seating area in the main arena complete with a private space for concessions, hospitality area, and rest rooms under the lower level seats.
In 2008, the Coliseum received a new NBA-style video scoreboard, a new public address system, a new lighting system, two LED ribbon boards, and a new floor design. WVU Athletic Director Ed Pastilong also announced the construction of a new $20–$22 million practice facility to be built adjacent to the Coliseum.
Top Crowds at the Coliseum
- 16,704 - Pittsburgh @ #6 West Virginia - February 24, 1982
- 15,638 - #1 UNLV @ West Virginia - February 27, 1983 on CBS
- 15,593 - #4 Villanova @ #5 West Virginia - February 8, 2010 on ESPN
- 15,419 - #21 Pittsburgh @ #6 West Virginia - February 3, 2010
- 15,409 - Marshall @ West Virginia - December 4, 1982
- 15,299 - Pittsburgh @ West Virginia - January 31, 1981
- 15,271 - #5 Syracuse @ #9 West Virginia - January 16, 2010 on ESPN
- 15,193 - #6 Georgetown @ West Virginia - December 2, 1996
- 15,167 - #6 UCONN @ #16 West Virginia - February 11, 1998 on ESPN
- 15,118 - #3 Notre Dame @ West Virginia- February 17, 1979
- 15,033 - #21 Ohio State @ #11 West Virginia - January 23, 2010 on CBS
- 15,032 - #11 Louisville @ West Virginia - March 5, 2011 on ESPN
Year by Year Results
- West Virginia Men's Basketball
|1999-00||Coliseum Closed for Asbestos Removal||N/A|
- Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
- Varsity Pride: 1975 ECAC Men's Basketball Tournaments
- Varsity Pride: 1976 ECAC Men's Basketball Tournaments