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Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion


Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion, commonly known as Hec Ed, is a 10,000-seat indoor arena on the campus of the University of Washingtonmarker in Seattlemarker. The brick venue is home to the UW Huskies men's and women's basketball programs, as well as the women's volleyball and gymnastics teams.

UW volleyball match against Cal on October 3, 2008


Early history

The building opened on December 27, 1927 as the "University of Washington Pavilion" at a cost of $600,000. 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 who retired in 1947.

The building was designed as a multi-purpose facility, 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 would practice in the venue during bad weather. The basketball floor was laid over a bed of 2x4's, resulting in a variety of bounce characteristics.

Hec Ed originally had skylights in the 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.

Renovation

After 71 years, the multi-purpose arena underwent a major renovation in March 1999. The project took 19 months to complete and cost $40 million. The expansive interior of the building was reconfigured to make the arena environment more intimate for fans and players, and to improve the usage of the building's overall space.[141768]

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.

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," each 243 feet in length. The tri-leg support columns for these are in the arena's four corners, highly visible and 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. On May 21, 1974, the pioneering jamband Grateful Dead performed to a sold out audience in the Arena.

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 indoor practice facility which opened the following autumn.

At the re-opening in November 2000, the title "Bank of America Arena" was added, following a payment of $9.1 million by Bank of America for the 10-year naming rights. (Originally, the name was to be "Seafirst Arena." Although Seafirst was acquired in 1983 by B of A, it retained its brand until 2000, when it changed to "Bank of America.")

During the renovation, the 1999-2000 Husky basketball teams played their home games at Seattle Centermarker, the men at KeyArenamarker and the women at Mercer Arena.

Milestones

  • Hec Ed has hosted the NCAA basketball Final Four twice, in 1949 and 1952.
  • The overall attendance record for the building is 12,961, set during the semi-finals of the 1957 high school state basketball tournament.
  • Arguably the biggest game in the building since its renovation occurred on March 6, 2004, when the UW men's basketball team hosted top-ranked and then-undefeated Stanfordmarker on national television, a game which the Huskies won 75-62.


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