Men's Basketball vs. McNeese State, UMass
Photo by:Chris Parent, LSU Athletics Student Photographer
LSU Men's Basketball Facilities
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Published: July 17, 2012, 12:00 AM (CT)
Updated: July 17, 2012, 01:48 PM (CT)
by LSUsports.net (@LSUsports), LSU Sports Interactive

Pete Maravich Assembly Center (13,215)

Just at a time when it appeared the Pete Maravich Assembly Center was past the point of being a first-class basketball building, the LSU Athletic Department stepped in and began a three-year campaign to spruce up the building that has been known since 1988 as the PMAC.

In a year when the building would also become famous worldwide as the site of the largest triage unit in history after Hurricane Katrina, the athletic department was able to finish its renovation in time for the 2005-06 season and turn the building back into a showcase for LSU men's basketball.

An interactive concourse area depicting the history of the great players who have starred for LSU in the building, additional restrooms, new seats throughout the arena along with increased court lighting has taken the building to a new level. Now, a new practice facility for men and women along with a new men's locker room complex have helped raise the Assembly Center's appeal for players and fans for years to come.

The Maravich Assembly Center is, like the other venues LSU basketball has bounced around in through its long history, unique in its own way. Before moving across from Tiger Stadium, the Tigers set up shop in the Pavilion on the old LSU campus, the Huey Long Field House Gym Armory (now the Cox Communications Academic Center) and the John M. Parker Agricultural Center. LSU and SEC fans knew the latter as the "Cow Palace" as it served as the primary home for LSU basketball for four decades.

But when the LSU Tigers commenced play in the Assembly Center in the 1971-72 season, it marked the beginning of a new era in LSU Roundball. Now, with LSU entering its 42nd season in the Assembly Center, the building is the longest running venue in LSU's basketball history.

The building opened as the LSU Assembly Center, but during the summer of 1988, then Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer signed legislation changing the official name of the building to the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in honor of the LSU star who had died tragically earlier that same year.

The Maravich Center is also the home for the LSU volleyball, gymnastics and women's basketball teams.

Pete Maravich never got to play any of his college ball in the Assembly Center, but the plans for the building came while he and the Tigers were packing the "Cow Palace" from 1967-70. So like Yankee Stadium being the "House that (Babe) Ruth Built", the Assembly Center can certainly be classified as the "Palace that Pete Built."

On July 1, 2004, the management of the Pete Maravich Center came under the direction of the LSU Athletics Department. One of the primary functions was to improve the quality of the building both in the arena and on the upper concourse.

For years, the upper concourse of the Maravich Assembly Center was just an entranceway and a walk area for people heading to their seats. There were a few pictures, concession stands and a few restrooms, but it wasn't a special place to spend time before the game started.

Thanks to the LSU Athletics Department, all that has changed. Now the concourse is a fan's delight, looking back at the past and present of the four teams who compete in the building.

The concourse is divided into four quadrants: Pete Maravich Pass, The Walk of Champions, Heroes Hall and Midway of Memories.

Arena Facts

11.5 Million
Original cost of building -- $11.5 million; one of the most visible structures on campus.

NCAA's
Site of two NCAA Regional Basketball Tournaments: 1976, 1986

NIT's
Site of six NIT events: 1982, 1983, 1987, 1989, 2002, 2009

Women's NCAA's
Site of NCAA Women’s Basketball First and Second Rounds in 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2013.

East to West
East-to-West, you can put a football field and still have almost 33 yards of space left.

North to South
North-to-South, you can put another gridiron and have about 13 yards extra.

3,113,380
There are over one-fifth of a million square feet enclosed and over one-quarter of a million square feet throughout for a total of 3,113,380 cubic feet.

1,750
A total of 1,750 tons of air conditioning keeps the interior at year-round comfort.

 

LSU Basketball Practice Facility

The statue of Shaquille O'Neal that was unveiled in early September outside the entrance to the Pete Maravich Assembly Center basketball practice facility has become the primary focus of people's attention when they come to that part of the LSU campus.

But what goes on inside the facility is what is important to the present and future of the LSU men's basketball program. The chance to schedule practice when needed and the chance to get shots up or work on free throws any time is what makes this facility so important to the players of this program.

If they want to take the time, the opportunity to improve is there.

One way you know the LSU practice facility is special is very simple. Ask the former players who are pleased that the Tigers program now has this wonderful facility, but are envious just the same.

"I'm actually jealous," said Shaquille O'Neal. "I had to beg the security guards to let me in the (old) downstairs practice facility which at the time they called the dungeon. I spoke to the team and I said listen you got everything you want here ... My message to them was take advantage of all this stuff."

"It's important for the program and it will give us a recruiting edge," said another of the players whose jersey hangs from the rafters of the Maravich Center, Durand "Rudy" Macklin. "It will make a player want to come here. It's a basketball player's dream. It started here with a rubber floor and the 'Dungeon' ... Now to see it come to this. I was born too soon."

While Macklin and Shaquille have completed their professional careers, several Tiger pros have been able to work out in the facility on a regular basis, including SEC Player of the Year, Glen Davis.

"I'm so jealous," said Davis, while flashing his trademark smile. "Just to be a part of this program is amazing. I just wish we had this when I was here, but hey, I feel like we helped pave the way for these guys and this beautiful facility. I'm glad they can enjoy and use something like this to better their careers.

The facility features exact duplicate full-size gymnasiums. Each has two portable goals and four retractable goals, both are exact replicas of the PMAC competition court. Each gym features a scoreboard, video filming balcony and scorer's table with video and data connection. Each gyms spans 11,324 square feet and includes a regulation NCAA court in length with two regulation high school courts in the opposition direction.

Besides the men's gymnasium, the area will become the primary work area for the basketball team with a new locker room, team lounge, training room, laundry facility, coach's locker room and storage areas.

The building also includes a central two-story lobby and staircase that ascends to the second level that has a room that can hold approximately 500 people for pre-game and post-game functions that leads into the Maravich Center concourse. The lobby showcases team displays and graphics, trophy cases and memorabilia from the long history of LSU Basketball.

The displays and wall graphics were designed by ZE Design of Centerville, Ohio.

The facility was constructed by Guy Hopkins Construction of Baton Rouge based on designs by the firm of Tom Holden Architects of Baton Rouge in a unique joint venture with RDG Sports of Des Moines, Iowa.

Practice Facility Facts

Project Cost: $13,913,000

Ground broken on July 1, 2008; Ribbon-Cutting on Sept. 23, 2010

Contractors: Guy Hopkins Construction of Baton Rouge based on the designs by the firm of Tom Holden Architects of Baton Rouge in a joint venture with RDG Sports of Des Moines, Iowa

Total Project Area: 58,960 square feet of new construction and 1,100 square feet of renovated construction

  • Two state-of-the-art practice gyms each spanning 11,324 square feet; includes a regulation NCAA court in length with two regulation high school courts in the opposite direction.
  • Each gym has two portable goals and four overhead retractable goals; both are exact replicas of the PMAC competition court.
  • Each gym can hold up to 800 people for special events.
  • Each gym features a scoreboard, video filming balcony and scorer's table with video and data connections to enable instant replay.
  • A central two story lobby and grand staircase ascends to the second level. The lobby showcases team displays and graphics, trophy cases and memorabilia from the past. The displays and wall graphics were designed by ZE Design of Centerville, Ohio.
  • On the second level of the facility is a Pre-Function Room that opens to an extension of the Maravich Center concourse. It can hold approximately 500 people for pre-game and post-game functions.
  • Other areas of the addition include a Media Room, Men's Basketball Locker Room, Team Lounge, Training Room, Laundry Facility, Coach's Locker Room and storage areas.
Home Attendance in the Maravich Center
Year
Games
Attendance
Average
1971-72
12
93,876
7,823
1972-73
12
110,881
9,240
1973-74
14
144,105
10,293
1974-75
12
99,589
8,299
1975-76
16
124,362
7,773
1976-77
16
133,636
8,352
1977-78
15
148,423
9,895
1978-79
14
177,964
12,712
1979-80
14
175,339
12,524
1980-81
15
205,622
13,708
1981-82
13*
171,305
13,177
1982-83
15*
180,795
12,053
1983-84
14
177,596
12,685
1984-85
15
195,927
13,062
1985-86
16#
201,820
12,614
1986-87
16$
165,182
10,324
1987-88
15@
174,414
11,628
1988-89
16
192,016
12,001
1989-90
18&
246,257
13,681
1990-91
16
214,473
13,404
1991-92
16
209,345
13,084
1992-93
17
193,632
11,390
1993-94
14
152,117
10,866
1994-95
16
172,888
10,806
1995-96
18
165,710
9,206
1996-97
15
111,722
7,448
1997-98
16
114,266
7,142
1998-99
16
123,941
7,746
1999-00
16
168,784
10,549
2000-01
16
129,709
8,106
2001-02
17*
145,078
8,534
2002-03
18
156,368
8,687
2003-04
15
140,321
9,355
2004-05
15
141,139
9,409
2005-06
16
151,499
9,469
2006-07
18
180,038
10,002
2007-08 15 128,469 8,565
2008-09 21 217,834 10,373
2009-10 18 160,836 8,935
2010-11 18 128,749 7,153
2011-12 15 129,910 8,661
2012-13      
Totals 640
6,550,900
10,243
* - Includes one National Invitation Tournament post-season game
# - Includes two NCAA Tournament SE Regional games
$ - Includes one Pre-Season NIT game
@ - Includes two SEC Tournament games
& - Includes two Pre-Season NIT games

 

Top 20 Men's Basketball Crowds (Paid)
Current Seating Configuration
Rank Attendance Opponent Date
1. 13,839 Xavier Jan. 24, 2009
2. 13,468 Georgia Jan. 25, 2006
3. 13,345 Florida Feb. 24, 2009
4. 13,249 Vanderbilt March 4, 2009
5. 13,121 Connecticut Jan. 6, 2007
6. 13,083 Kentucky Feb. 6, 2010
7. 12,698 Arkansas Jan. 31, 2009
8. 12,507 Ole Miss March 4, 2006
9. 12,401 Florida Feb. 24, 2007
10. 12,053 Texas A&M Dec. 5, 2006
11. 11,871 Auburn Feb. 21, 2009
12. 11,709 Mississippi State Jan. 21, 2009
13. 11,674 Alabama Jan. 31, 2007
14. 11,631 Kentucky Jan. 28, 2012
15. 11,576 Kentucky Feb. 25, 2006
16. 11,511 Jackson State Nov. 15, 2008
17. 11,425 Ole Miss Feb. 14, 2009
18. 11,393 South Carolina Jan. 14, 2009
19. 11,313 Alabama Jan. 31, 2007
20. 11,131 Auburn Feb. 1, 2006
* Capacity after remodeling of seating area prior to the 2005-06 season changed to 13,215.

 

Top 20 Men's Basketball Crowds (Paid)
Previous Seating Configuration
Rank Attendance Opponent Date
1. 15,694 Ole Miss Feb. 25, 1981
2. 15,399 Ole Miss Jan. 19, 1991
3. 15,242 Alabama Jan. 21, 1989
4. 15,192 Kentucky Jan. 19, 1981
5. 15,109 Vanderbilt Jan. 2, 1991
6. 15,093 Auburn Jan. 20, 1982
7. 14,987 Ole Miss Feb. 1, 1989
8. 14,799 Ole Miss Jan. 21, 1995
9. 14,687 Tennessee Jan. 24, 1981
10. 14,568 Auburn Jan. 15, 1979
11. 14,551 Kentucky Feb. 11, 1978
11. 14,551 UCLA Dec. 17, 1994
13. 14,486 Auburn Feb 9, 2000
14. 14,460 McNeese State Jan. 20, 1992
15. 14,449 Vanderbilt Jan. 7, 1981
16. 14,444 Houston Dec. 6, 1983
17. 14,429 Vanderbilt Jan. 31, 1981
18. 14,418 Kentucky Feb. 3, 1979
19. 14,417 Florida March 1, 1989
20. 14,413 Kentucky Jan. 27, 1973

 

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