Add Your Comments: Should Williams Arena be history?

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  • Updated: February 8, 2012 - 9:08 PM

Should the university get rid of Williams Arena as part of its plan for upgrading its basketball program? Or is there too much history to do away with The Barn? Tell us what you think.

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deermenowFeb. 8, 12 9:33 PM

We can't build a baseball stadium! How in the hell are we going to get a new BB arena? I'm for it if it can be done.

bcherrFeb. 8, 12 9:52 PM

Patrick, you are correct as usual. If the Gophers want become competitive in the big 10 they need to move on or it is going to be more of the same. Middle of the pack in the big 10.

mnsports255Feb. 8, 12 9:57 PM

Part of me agrees. I think that the barn is a less-than quality basketball arena. And the fans are so old and silent its like a senior home in there, let the students be the majority of the crowd to give it that advantage! But part of me has known nothing but the barn and it would be a sad day if it got torn down.

duluthfanFeb. 8, 1210:07 PM

Why can't we just invest half of the money for a new arena and use it to upgrade Williams? Would be a lot cheaper and it could make us competitive in the big ten still. Find a way to get a better student section to get that place rocking so we can keep our athletes from going over to Wisconsin. Like Bergren and Taylor... Imagine if they were still playing for the maroon and gold.

nokomismodFeb. 8, 1210:07 PM

What's missing from the atmosphere now at Gopher's men basketball games isn't due to Williams arena being old. It's from not having enough to cheer for. When the home team is playing well and playing good competition, it's the best sporting event in town.

philgorngieFeb. 8, 1210:18 PM

I will never go to another Gopher BB game if they do away with Williams.Gopher BB would officially be over. Get a coach in here and all will be well.

rustyscupperFeb. 8, 1210:24 PM

If the arena is a detriment to recruiting talent these days then it has to go. You can build something new in it's image keeping the tradition and history alive, but also keeping up with the times. It will and should happen eventually.

nativeson10Feb. 8, 1210:26 PM

Find a way to get rid of the lower level beams that obstruct the view of any row above 20...otherwise build a new place.

goforthegoldFeb. 8, 1210:29 PM

You can gut Williams Arena and make it state of the art. Turn the Sports Pavillion into the practice facility and somehow get the Volleyball/Wrestling/Gymnastics teams to play at Ridder/Mariucci Arenas. The baseball stadium is already a go. This is an arms race and if you don't want to play fine but you are going to fall further behind the rest of the Big Ten.

hookshotFeb. 8, 1210:43 PM

Williams Arena was built around the same time that the original Madison Square Garden and Boston Garden were constructed. Those arenas were designed to host boxing events, as well as basketball or hockey games. The goal then was to get the fans so close to the action that they could see "the sweat on the brows of the boxer's faces". I remember Jules Perlt welcoming the audience with "good afternoon ladies and gentlemen and welcome to today's contest". With the raised floor, it felt like you attending something really special. From my seats, I could read the lettering on the players shoes. Opponents would often melt on that stage, with the crowd right on top of them. Most arenas of that style are gone now, torn down for cookie cutter arenas with lots of corporate suites. The fans are moved to what today's architects consider a "safe" distance, which is MUCH further away from the court (see the upper level at Target Center). Like Fenway, Williams Arena belongs on the national register of historic places, and should be preserved as an example of some of the great sporting venues. (And tickets to Big Ten games there are still the toughest ticket to get in this town).


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