Scoggins: Resurgent Gophers provide the perfect Williams Arena renovation

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 15, 2013 - 9:48 AM

When the team's bad, the Barn creaks; when they're good, it rocks.

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eadlermnJan. 14, 13 8:33 PM

I was a student at the U when #1 Illinois came to play. It was a raucous and jubilant crowd throughout the game and I still remember the headache and sore throat that came with the victory. The Barn is a wonderful place when that energy is there.

jsimple3Jan. 14, 13 9:23 PM

I'm a long time Gophers bb fan living just 20 minutes from Duke, UNC and NC State in Cary, North Carolina. I've been to all three venues, and the oldest, smallest one is Cameron Indoor on the Duke campus. It's about the size of some of the larger high school gyms I played in years ago. But it makes for a huge home team advantage when it's packed (it always is) and rocking. Way more atmosphere than the other places and obviously not too detrimental to their recruiting. Williams Arena is a bigger,older, cooler version. And if you think the bathroom lines in Williams are long, you haven't been to Cameron.

hookshotJan. 14, 1310:12 PM

When the team is playing well against a quality opponent, the Barn provides one of the most electric atmospheres anywhere. (And as far as demand, just look at the asking prices for lower center court tickets on the secondary market for Thursday's game). I had the pleasure of taking in a ballgame at Wrigley this past summer. That facility, which also has its share of quirks, is beloved in the city of Chicago. (Even if they haven't won any championships for a very LONG time). Anyone suggesting tearing it down (Patrick) would be run out of town on a rail.

goldengoph3rJan. 14, 1310:31 PM

Thanks for the Williams Arena props, Chip. It's a great, intimate place to watch basketball, and far better than the Wolves' incredibly bland Target Center digs. I'm predicting a comfortable Gopher win in front of a raucous home crowd this Thursday.

codger1016Jan. 15, 1312:19 AM

Back in "the day," the U used boy scouts as ushers for its home games at Williams Arena. I remember the Musselman teams drawing such a crowd in the pre-cable TV days, that not only did they sell out the barn, but they were able to sell another few thousand tickets to watch the game on closed-circuit TV in the hockey arena next door (then also called Williams Arena before it was renamed for Mariucci, and now known as the Sports Pavilion.)Some great memories, like when an elderly lady asked me why they were booing one of the Gopher players (Jim Brewer) during Jules Perrault's introduction. "They're not booing," I told her. "They're Brewing!"

kinnickJan. 15, 13 5:27 AM

"Long live the barn!" And this from a Hawkeye fan!!! Twenty plus years ago Lute Olson demanded a new fieldhouse,so in fear of losing him Carver hawkeye area was built and we lost our 'advantage' One year after it opened Olson left for Arizona and in my opionion Hawkeye basketball has never been the same,thanks for nothing Lute.

cutthebullJan. 15, 13 7:46 AM

"one of the NBA's best teams, the Los Angeles Clippers." I realize I haven't paid attention to the NBA in a while, but this really made me feel like Rip Van Winkle, as it would anyone who remembers the 1990s.

mheereyJan. 15, 13 7:51 AM

Not really picking on Chip's points in his article. I am also a big fan of the team and the Barn. But before we write off all sports in the frozen abyss, remember that there are two #1 ranked teams across the street from the Barn. And being a season ticket holder for the men's hockey team, and having attended the BC and Notre Dame games, and looking very much forward to the NoDak games this weekend, I can tell you that Mariucci is a heck of a place for a fan to watch top notch competitive sports. Again, the thrust of the article is right on. Maybe one generalization too many.

hitch22Jan. 15, 13 7:52 AM

They aren't going to beat Michigan, but it's nice to have a decent basketball team on campus again.

haye0138Jan. 15, 13 9:40 AM

When I moved to the twin cities in the early 90s, i remember it being extremely hard to get tickets at the barn....and when you did get tickets they were always crappy obstructed view seats, but you'd still happily take them because IT WAS THE BARN! And going to games there was fun and exciting! Then I had student season tickets there from 2000-04 during the Monson years, capped off with that horrible Kris Humphries season my senior year....totally not the same. Good to hear the old atmosphere is coming back.


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