The University of Arizona is a college that bleeds red and blue and "Bear Down" chants can be heard all over campus. But the place that commemorates school spirit and brings the community and student body together would be the McKale Center.

As a student the McKale Center is an important part in the college experience. Walking into the stadium on a game night is one of the most amazing things. Words can not even do it justice. The energy that the crowd brings sends shivers down the spine. Hearing the echo of "Bear Down" chants makes you feel at home. The ability to be a part of that is something that students should not take for granted.

McKale Center is also home to ZonaZoo, the number one student section in the entire country. The fans are what make playing in McKale a terrifying event for visiting schools.

History:

The McKale Memorial Center opened in February of 1973 and changed the era of Wildcat basketball. The new court was named after J.F. “Pop” Mckale, who was the athletic director and coach at the University of Arizona from 1914-1957. Following the Arizona State University game on February 26, 2000, the University of Arizona athletic department honored head coach Lute Olson with a ceremony to name the McKale Center playing surface “Lute Olson Court”. Then, during a memorial service in January 2001 for Olson’s late wife, Bobbi, it was renamed, “Lute and Bobbi Olson Court” in recognition of the couple’s impact on the university and the city of Tucson.  When it first opened it housed 13,658 guests, but after renovations it can now seat 14,655 eager Arizona fans. McKale has been the scene of several major national sports events such as the NCAA West Regionals in March 1974 and in March 1980 and the NCAA Wrestling Championships in March 1976 and NCAA first and second round basketball action in 1979, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1997, and 2000. In addition, the USA Basketball Team trained in McKale Center prior to winning the 1986 World Championships and Arizona played host to the second Pacific-10 Conference Tournament in 1988

Renovations to the McKale center were recently made after the 2014-2015 season.

Today the McKale center is home to Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Volleyball, and Gymnastics. McKale Center also houses the entire off-field operations of the University's athletic department as well as an exercise sciences lab and a suite of 20-plus office labs for the Optical Sciences department. The three levels include equipment rooms, training and rehabilitation center, locker rooms, storage areas, ticket operations, academic services, computer lab facilities and administrative offices.

 

The McKale Center is home to a number of impressive accomplishments:

  • 69 NBA Draft Picks
  • 33 NCAA Tournament Appearances
  • 18 Sweet Sixteens
  • 11 Elite Eights
  • 4 Final Fours
  • 1 National Championship

There are currently 18 Wildcat Basketball players in the NBA:

  1. Channing Frye
  2. Andre Iguodala
  3. Richard Jefferson
  4. Jason Terry
  5. Jerryd Bayless
  6. Jordan Hill
  7. Chase Budinger
  8. Derrick Williams
  9. Solomon Hill
  10. Grant Jerrett
  11. Aaron Gordon
  12. Nick Johnson
  13. Stanley Johnson
  14. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
  15. Brandon Ashley
  16. T.J. McConnell
  17. Steve Kerr (Head Coach)
  18. Luke Walton (Head Coach)

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.arizonawildcats.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=208232685

http://www.arizonawildcats.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=208231761

http://parentseyes.arizona.edu/placesinthesun/mckale.php

http://www.connorsports.com/blog/post/renovation-of-mckale-center-at-university-of-arizona-completed-with-new-connor-sports-basketball-court

http://directory.arizona.edu/buildings/mckale-memorial-center

http://www.arizonawildcats.com/sports/2013/4/18/208232685.aspx