In 2023-24, The Pete Maravich Assembly Center and LSU Basketball continues its legacy as the historic home of LSU basketball as the Tigers begin their 53rd season in the multi-purpose venue which opened late in 1971 and hosted its first men’s hoops game in Jan. 1972.
For a program that will play its 115th season, the former LSU Assembly Center is the venue that LSU has called its official home the longest following in the primary venues of the Huey Long Field House (now the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes) and the Ag Center on the opposite side of the campus. It is more commonly known to basketball fans as the “Cow Palace.”
Even after all these years, the Maravich Center is still a great place for basketball on the portable wood playing surface.
The building took on a much-needed new look prior to the 2017-18 season with the magnificent giant side and end video boards installed above the court that allows fans everywhere in the building to have a clear look at video and statistics. This season, the boards are being refurbished to keep them state-of-the-art vehicles to entertain and inform the fans during an evening at the Maravich Center.
New modern light capabilities offer some of the best light intensity that has been seen in the history of the building.
The building has seen constant changes since a three-year campaign began in 2005 once the LSU Athletic Department took over complete operation of the facility.
In a year when the building would also become famous worldwide as the site of the largest triage unit in history after Hurricane Katrina, the athletic department was able to finish its renovation in time for the 2005-06 season and turn the building back into a showcase for LSU men’s basketball.
An interactive concourse area depicting the history of the great players who have starred for LSU in the building, additional restrooms and new seats throughout the arena have taken the building to a new level.
Now, the building features a practice facility for men and women along with a men’s locker room complex helping the Assembly Center’s appeal for players and fans for years to come.
The Maravich Assembly Center is, like the other venues LSU basketball has bounced around in through its long history, unique in its own way.
Before moving across from Tiger Stadium (in the 1971-72 season), the Tigers set up shop in the Pavilion on the old LSU campus, the Huey Long Field House Gym Armory (now the Cox Communications Academic Center) and the John M. Parker Agricultural Center.
The building opened as the LSU Assembly Center. During the summer of 1988, then Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer signed legislation changing the official name of the building to the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in honor of the LSU star who had died tragically earlier that same year.
Pete Maravich never got to play any of his college ball in the Assembly Center, but the plans for the building came while he and the Tigers were packing the “Cow Palace” from 1967-70. So, like Yankee Stadium being the “House that (Babe) Ruth Built”, the Assembly Center can certainly be classified as the “Palace that Pete Built.”