Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson PavilionWashington Huskies
Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion, commonly known as Hec Edmundson Pavilion, or simply Hec Ed is an indoor arena on the campus of the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, United States; the home of the Washington Huskies of the Pacific-12 Conference. Originally opened in 1927, the brick venue is home to the UW men's and women's basketball programs, as well as the women's volleyball and gymnastics teams. The current seating capacity of Hec Ed is 10,000 for basketball.
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Early history The pavilion is located immediately north of Husky Stadium. Originally the University of Washington Pavilion, the building was constructed in nine months for $600,000 and opened on December 27, 1927. After twenty years, it was renamed the Clarence S. "Hec" Edmundson Pavilion on January 16, 1948, honoring the university's longtime track and basketball coach, a former Olympian who retired in 1947. The building was designed as a multi-purpose field house, handling six or seven men's sports, including use as an indoor football field and track. Seating and flooring were intentionally mobile. The floor was originally dirt, and the football team practiced in the venue during bad weather. The basketball floor was laid over a bed of 2x4s, resulting in a variety of bounce characteristics. Hec Ed originally had glass skylights in its ceiling. During the state high school basketball tournament in 1938, one of these fell during a windstorm, injuring two spectators, resulting in their permanent removal. The pavilion was used as a venue for the 1990 Goodwill Games and the flooring was renovated for the event. Renovation After 71 years, the multi-purpose arena underwent a major renovation in March 1999, following the final home games of the 1998-99 basketball season. The project took 19 months to complete and cost $40 million. The expansive interior of the building was reconfigured by LMN Architects to make the arena environment more intimate for fans and players, and to improve the usage of the building's overall space. The east end of the building was sectioned off into a practice gymnasium and the main basketball court was moved fifty feet west, enclosed by a tighter bowl of seats. The seating capacity was increased from 7,900 to 10,000 while using significantly less of the building. Half of the seats (5,000) are the chair type, with the other half bleachers, of which 60% have backs. The seats were supplied by Saxton Bradley, Inc., a local distribution company for educational, technology and casework solutions. Another major improvement was the removal of the twenty view-obscuring support pillars in the upper level, replaced by two massive non-obscuring "super trusses," above and behind the sidelines. Both are 243 feet in length and painted yellow-gold, as are the supporting tri-leg columns in the arena's four corners, proudly exhibited in the concourses. Additionally, the six large arched windows at the west end of the building were uncovered. Painted over for years, they were refitted with filtered glass to allow them to remain uncovered during games. The acoustical ceiling, installed in 1967 for use as a concert and music hall, was removed to expose the steel rafters. The rafters and the black ceiling above them were painted in an off-white buff tone. New locker rooms, athletic offices, meeting rooms, training rooms, and a Hall of Fame section were also part of the project. The running track was removed, transferred to the new Dempsey indoor practice facility, which opened the following autumn. During the renovation, the Husky basketball teams were displaced for one season (1999-2000), and played their home games five miles away at Seattle Center; the men at KeyArena and the women at Mercer Arena. Proposed Basketball Training Facility In 2011, the University of Washington announced plans for a new Basketball Training Facility. The project includes a pre-design study for a $50 million basketball training facility for the Intercollegiate Athletics Men’s and Women’s basketball program to be located in the vicinity of the Alaska Airlines Arena. The scope of work may include relocation and replacement of existing ICA facilities related to the new project. The pre-design study will include programming, alternatives, design concepts, cost estimates, and other related reports. The study may include an option to replace or build a new arena for the basketball programs.
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