The NEW Northwestern University Basketball Welsh-Ryan Arena
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"The Shrine", "The Litter Box"
Former names McGaw Memorial Hall (1952–1983)
Welsh–Ryan Arena exterior
Welsh–Ryan Arena is an 7,039-seat multi-purpose arena in Evanston, Illinois, United States, near the campus of Northwestern University. It is home to four Northwestern Wildcats athletic teams: men's basketball, women's basketball, women's volleyball, and wrestling. It is located inside McGaw Memorial Hall, to the north of Ryan Field.
The building opened in 1952 as a replacement for Patten Gymnasium, and was the site of the Final Four for the 1956 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament. It was extensively renovated in 1983, at which time the main arena was renamed Welsh–Ryan Arena. At the conclusion of the 2016–17 basketball season, plans are to renovate and upgrade the arena as part of a $110 million project scheduled to be completed by late 2018. The renovation will displace the athletic programs that use the arena for the 2017–18 season.
For years, Welsh–Ryan Arena was the smallest arena in the Big Ten Conference and the only conference facility that did not seat at least 10,000. With Rutgers University joining the conference in 2014, Welsh–Ryan became the second-smallest arena after the Louis Brown Athletic Center at Rutgers, which has a listed capacity of 8,000. Welsh–Ryan will once again become the smallest arena in the Big 10 Conference in 2018, with the listed capacity decreasing to 7,500 after renovations.
Project Description and Statistics
Welsh-Ryan Arena, (located at 2705 Ashland Ave Evanston, IL 60208) the home of Northwestern University’s basketball, volleyball and wrestling teams, will be transformed as a result of a complete facility renovation. A leadership gift from Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan, along with a $10 million gift from Stephen R. and Susan K. Wilson, donations from other loyal Northwestern benefactors and the existing athletics maintenance and equipment budget, will fund the $110-plus million project.
Simply stated, this is a historic moment for the future of Northwestern Athletics,” said Jim Phillips, vice president for athletics and recreation. “There are no greater champions for Northwestern than Pat and Shirley Ryan. We never will appropriately convey our gratitude for their vision and generosity, which have made a seismic impact on our University and generations of students. In addition, we are also incredibly appreciative of Steve and Sue Wilson’s continued unconditional support and leadership; they are truly two of our very best Wildcats.