- Convocation Center (Ohio University)
Convocation Center The Convo Former names None Location Athens, Ohio Broke ground 1965 Opened 1968 Owner Ohio University Operator Ohio University Surface Two-layer maple wood Construction cost $8.2 million USD Architect Brubaker and Brandt Capacity 13,080 Tenants Ohio Bobcats (NCAA) (1968–present)
Convocation Center is a 13,080-seat multi-purpose arena that is home to the Ohio Bobcats basketball, volleyball, and wrestling teams. The first men's basketball game in the arena featured an 80–70 Ohio victory over the Indiana Hoosiers on December 3, 1968.
The Convocation Center, affectionately called "The Convo," was designed by Brubaker and Brandt Architects of Columbus, Ohio and built by Knowlton Construction Company of Bellefontaine, Ohio. The arena houses offices for the Ohio Athletics Department numerous coaches' offices, team locker rooms, and athletic training rooms. Additionally it houses offices and classrooms for the computer science branch of the Russ College of Engineering. Over the years, there have been numerous renovations, some of the most recent being in 1997, where improved lighting, an expanded press row, and a wider camera deck were added to the arena. Also, The Vern and Marion Alden Basketball Suite which houses offices and meeting rooms for Ohio men's and women's basketball was completed. A few years later, the locker rooms for both basketball teams were expanded and given new furniture, carpeting, and individual wooden lockers. Following the 2004 season, more renovations occurred as a new playing surface was installed and two large Daktronics video boards were added to the venue.
The Convocation Center's atmosphere has helped the Bobcats to win over 75% of their home games since the opening of The Convo in 1968. At the beginning of the 2001–2002 season, a new student cheering section, dubbed the "O Zone," was started for men's basketball games.
The Convocation Center brought in its largest crowd on February 28, 1970, when 14,102 fans were in attendance to watch the Bobcats men's basketball team defeat the Bowling Green Falcons 77–76. That year Ohio finished 20–5, winning the Mid-American Conference and advancing to the NCAA Tournament.
In addition to Ohio basketball, volleyball, and wrestling contests, the Convo hosts numerous other events annually. The facility has held local high school basketball games as well as high school state tournament games as well as a variety of concerts, including a May 17, 1969 concert by Led Zeppelin, professional wrestling events, and special university events, most notably Ohio University's graduation ceremonies.
The Convocation Center had previously been used for Thursday night rehearsals for The Ohio University Marching 110. The band rehearsed dance routines for their home football games on the convocation center floor. The building was also used for several of the Marching 110's LP recording sessions in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.
Ohio University Athletics Director Jim Schaus announced plans to renovate the Convocation Center athletic training center by 2012 as part of the Bobcat Renaissance, which is an initiative geared toward improving OU's athletic programs.
The Arena has also hosted some events of WWE.
- Convocation Center Information Page
- Official Ohio University Athletics Website
- Giving to Ohio Athletics
- Ohio Green & White Club - Supporting Ohio Bobcats Athletics
- Unofficial Ohio Bobcats Fan Website
- Official Website of the Mid-American Conference
Basketball arenas of the Mid-American Conference East Division West Division
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