McKale Memorial Center Arizona Wildcats
McKale Memorial Center is an athletic arena located at 1756 E University Blvd on the campus of the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. It is primarily used for basketball, but also features state-of-the-art physical training and therapy facilities. Its construction is marked with a large copper cap that has turned brown over time. McKale Center is home to the University of Arizona Wildcats basketball team. The arena opened in February 1973 and has a capacity of 14,545 spectators. It hosted the 1988 Pacific-10 Conference men's basketball tournament. McKale Center was named in honor of J.F. "Pop" McKale, athletic director and coach of all sports at the University of Arizona for a time, a figure at the university from 1914 to 1957. McKale was head basketball coach of Arizona from 1914 to 1921, where he recorded a 49-12 record. McKale is also credited with giving the university its mascot, the Wildcats. McKale coached the 1914 school football team that played a tough game against California champions Occidental College on Thanksgiving Day, where the press deemed the Arizona team "Wildcats", and McKale ensured that the nickname remained. The University of Arizona is in the Pacific-12 Conference of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Following the Arizona State University game on February 26, 2000, the University of Arizona athletic department honored head coach Lute Olson with a ceremony to name the McKale Center floor, "Lute Olson Court". Then, during a memorial service in January 2001 for Olson's late wife, Bobbi, it was renamed, "Lute and Bobbi Olson Court" in recognition of the couple's impact on the university and the city of Tucson. In 2002, the Eddie Lynch Athletics Pavilion, a state-of-the-art medical and strength/conditioning facility for Wildcat student athletes, was completed and opened. The pavilion (which cost $14 million) was a 36,000-square-foot addition to the north end of McKale Center. The upper level has a 10,000-square-foot museum-like display area, open to the public, showcasing the history of Arizona Wildcat athletics. In terms of capacity, McKale Center is the second largest arena in the Pac-12 conference. Utah's Jon M. Huntsman Center is the largest basketball arena in the conference, but Arizona averages greater attendance.
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In December 2012, the University of Arizona Athletic Department was given approval by the Arizona Board of Regents to search for an architect to remodel McKale Center. "The hope is to get it to be where it's one concourse enclosed that you can walk around and have the restrooms and concessions and everything tied to it," said Greg Byrne, the Arizona Athletic Director. The remodel would also include a club area, luxury seating, and more room for the athletics offices that occupy the McKale Center. The Arizona Athletic Department has since selected the architect AECOM to plan and design the renovation. The project will likely be built in several phases from 2014-2017 at a cost of 80million dollars. It is planned that the McKale Center will remain open during the construction process since much of the construction will take place in the off season. One of the first steps in the renovation is the addition of a new video board, which will take place during the 2013 off season.
- : (Handicap access)
- No event is scheduled here.
- Throughout the facility
- All personal items and subject to seacrh.
- Permitted. For personal-use only, No video/flash.
- Permitted. Must be small.