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Home of LSU Men's Basketball Pete Maravich Assembly Center

History

Capacity: 13,215

Just at a time when it appeared the Pete Maravich Assembly Center was past the point of being a first-class basketball building, the LSU Athletic Department stepped in and began a three-year campaign to spruce up the building that has been known since 1988 as the PMAC.

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.

Now the building enters its 50th season of men’s basketball play during the 2020-21 season, continuing the tradition of play in the building while incorporating the modern video and technical aspects that are part of the game today.

An interactive concourse area depicting the history of the great players who have starred for LSU in the building, additional restrooms, new seats throughout the arena along with increased court lighting has taken the building to a new level.

In 2010, the building took a major step forward with a practice facility attached to the building for men and women along with a new men’s locker room complex that has helped raise 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, 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. LSU and SEC fans knew the latter as the “Cow Palace” as it served as the primary home for LSU basketball for four decades.

But when the LSU Tigers commenced play in the Assembly Center in the 1971-72 season, it marked the beginning of a new era in LSU Roundball. Now, with LSU entering its 50th season in the Assembly Center, the building is the longest running venue in LSU’s basketball history.

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.

The Maravich Center is also the home for the LSU volleyball, gymnastics and women’s basketball teams.

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.”

On July 1, 2004, the management of the Pete Maravich Center came under the direction of the LSU Athletics Department. One of the primary functions was to improve the quality of the building both in the arena and on the upper concourse.

For years, the upper concourse of the Maravich Assembly Center was just an entranceway and a walk area for people heading to their seats. There were a few pictures, concession stands and a few restrooms, but it wasn’t a special place to spend time before the game started.

Thanks to the LSU Athletics Department, all that has changed. Now the concourse is a fan’s delight, looking back at the past and present of the four teams who compete in the building.

The concourse is divided into four quadrants: Pete Maravich Pass, The Walk of Champions, Heroes Hall and Midway of Memories.

Prior to the 2017-18 season, the Maravich Center installed new video boards that at the time were the largest center hung boards in the nation. The four screens — two facing the sidelines at 42 feet long and 21 feet high, as well as two facing the baselines at 24 feet by 20.5 feet — were priced at over $3 million. The project was fully funded by the Tiger Athletic Foundation. The boards feature a dedicated area for game-in-progress information like score and time on the clock, as well as individual and team statistics.

Arena Facts

11.5 Million
Original cost of building — $11.5 million; one of the most visible structures on campus.

NCAA’s
Site of two NCAA Regional Basketball Tournaments: 1976, 1986

NIT’s
Site of seven NIT events: 1982, 1983, 1987, 1989, 2002, 2009, 2018

Women’s NCAA’s
Site of NCAA Women’s Basketball First and Second Rounds in 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2013.

East to West
East-to-West, you can put a football field and still have almost 33 yards of space left.

North to South
North-to-South, you can put another gridiron and have about 13 yards extra.

3,113,380
There are over one-fifth of a million square feet enclosed and over one-quarter of a million square feet throughout for a total of 3,113,380 cubic feet.

1,750
A total of 1,750 tons of air conditioning keeps the interior at year-round comfort.

Practice Facility

LSU Basketball Practice Facility

At the start of the 2010-11 season, LSU Basketball and its ability to prepare for games and have a place where the team can come together to work to be better became a reality.

It is a place that was important to the present and future of the LSU men’s basketball program. The chance to schedule practice when needed and the chance to get shots up or work on free throws any time is what makes this facility so important to the players of this program. But it is also the team dressing room, training room, where all the equipment is available at a moment’s notice and meeting space for individual and team meetings is readily there.

They don’t live in the facility, but if a player wants to take the time there to learn and improve, it is there for them. In the last three seasons under Coach Will Wade, the facility has seen players making that extra effort and taking those extra shots and watching that extra video. It has been proven by three successive seasons in which LSU was destined for post-season play.

There is another way you know the LSU practice facility is special. Ask the former players who are pleased that the Tigers program now has this wonderful facility, but are envious just the same.

“I’m actually jealous,” said Shaquille O’Neal. “I had to beg the security guards to let me in the (old) downstairs practice facility which at the time they called the dungeon. I spoke to the team and I said listen you got everything you want here … My message to them was take advantage of all this stuff.”

“It’s important for the program and it will give us a recruiting edge,” said another of the players whose jersey hangs from the rafters of the Maravich Center, Durand “Rudy” Macklin. “It will make a player want to come here. It’s a basketball player’s dream. It started here with a rubber floor and the ‘Dungeon’ … Now to see it come to this. I was born too soon.”

The facility features exact duplicate full-size gymnasiums for the men’s and women’s basketball teams. Each has two portable goals and four retractable goals, both are exact replicas of the PMAC competition court. Each gym features a scoreboard, video filming balcony and scorer’s table with video and data connection. Each gyms spans 11,324 square feet and includes a regulation NCAA court in length with two regulation high school courts in the opposition direction.

The building also includes a central two-story lobby and staircase that ascends to the second level that has a room that can hold approximately 500 people for pre-game and post-game functions that leads into the Maravich Center concourse. The lobby showcases team displays and graphics, trophy cases and memorabilia from the long history of LSU Basketball. It is also a convenient area for the men’s team to conduct their pregame and postgame media room which includes video screens and video and audio hookups.

Outside the facility are two statues that have joined the list of primary photo spots on the LSU campus — Shaquille O’Neal, dedicated on Sept. 8, 2011 and Bob Pettit, dedicated on Feb. 27, 2016.

The displays and wall graphics were designed by ZE Design of Centerville, Ohio.

The facility was constructed by Guy Hopkins Construction of Baton Rouge based on designs by the firm of Tom Holden Architects of Baton Rouge in a unique joint venture with RDG Sports of Des Moines, Iowa.

Practice Facility Facts

Project Cost: $13,913,000

Ground Breaking: July 1, 2008

Facility Opening: Sept. 23, 2010 (Ribbon-cutting ceremony)

Total Project Area: 58,960 square feet of new construction and 1,100 square feet of renovated construction

Contractors: Guy Hopkins Construction of Baton Rouge based on the designs by the firm of Tom Holden Architects of Baton Rouge in a joint venture with RDG Sports of Des Moines, Iowa

  • Two state-of-the-art practice gyms each spanning 11,324 square feet; includes a regulation NCAA court in length with two regulation high school courts in the opposite direction.
  • Each gym has two portable goals and four overhead retractable goals; both are exact replicas of the PMAC competition court.
  • Each gym can hold up to 800 people for special events.
  • Each gym features a scoreboard, video filming balcony and scorer’s table with video and data connections to enable instant replay.
  • A central two story lobby and grand staircase ascends to the second level. The lobby showcases team displays and graphics, trophy cases and memorabilia from the past. The displays and wall graphics were designed by ZE Design of Centerville, Ohio.
  • On the second level of the facility is the Legends Club that opens to an extension of the Maravich Center concourse. It can hold approximately 500 people for pre-game and post-game functions.
  • Other areas of the addition include a Media Room, Men’s Basketball Locker Room, Team Lounge, Training Room, Laundry Facility, Coach’s Locker Room and storage areas.

Year-by-Year Home Record/Attendance

Season Games Wins Losses Pct. Attendance Average
1971-72 12 8 4 .667 93,875 7,823
1972-73 12 8 4 .667 110,881 9,240
1973-74 14 9 5 .643 144,111 10,294
1974-75 12 6 6 .500 99,589 8,299
1975-76 16 10 6 .625 124,357 7,772
1976-77 16 11 5 .688 133,636 8,352
1977-78 15 11 4 .733 148,423 9,895
1978-79 14 13 1 .929 177,964 12,712
1979-80 14 12 2 .857 175,339 12,524
1980-81 15 15 0 1.000 205,622 13,708
1981-82 13 9 4 .692 171,305 13,177
1982-83 15 11 4 .733 180,795 12,053
1983-84 14 12 2 .857 177,596 12,685
1984-85 15 13 2 .867 195,927 13,062
1985-86 16 13 3 .813 201,820 12,614
1986-87 16 10 6 .625 165,182 10,324
1987-88 15 11 4 .733 174,414 11,628
1988-89 16 11 5 .688 192,016 12,001
1989-90 18 16 2 .889 246,257 13,681
1990-91 16 15 1 .938 214,473 13,405
1991-92 16 12 4 .750 209,345 13,084
1992-93 17 15 2 .882 186,318 10,960
1993-94 14 8 6 .571 152,117 10,866
1994-95 16 9 7 .563 172,888 10,806
1995-96 18 11 7 .611 165,710 9,206
1996-97 15 9 6 .600 111,722 7,448
1997-98 16 8 8 .500 114,266 7,142
1998-99 16 12 4 .750 123,941 7,746
1999-2000 16 15 1 .938 168,784 10,549
2000-01 16 9 7 .563 129,709 8,107
2001-02 17 12 5 .706 145,078 8,534
2002-03 18 16 2 .889 156,368 8,687
2003-04 15 12 3 .800 140,321 9,355
2004-05 15 14 1 .933 141,139 9,409
2005-06 16 14 2 .875 151,499 9,469
2006-07 18 14 4 .778 180,038 10,002
2007-08 15 9 6 .600 128,469 8,565
2008-09 21 19 2 .905 217,834 10,373
2009-10 18 11 7 .611 160,836 8,935
2010-11 18 8 10 .444 128,749 7,153
2011-12 15 11 4 .733 129,910 8,661
2012-13 17 14 3 .824 130,105 7,653
2013-14 16 13 3 .813 142,567 8,910
2014-15 17 13 4 .765 151,148 8,891
2015-16 18 15 3 .833 204,890 11,383
2016-17 16 8 8 .500 112,207 7,013
2017-18 18 14 4 .778 162,533 9,030
2018-19 17 15 2 .882 179,116 10,536
2019-20 17 15 2 .882 171,294 10,076
2020-21 * 13 11 2 .846 28,433 2,187
2021-22 17 15 2 .882 178,562 10,504
2022-23
Totals (1972-2022) 806 605 201 .751 8,009,478 9,937

* limited capacity due to COVID-19 pandemic

Largest Crowds

Top 20 Men’s Basketball Crowds (Paid)

Through 2021-22 season; Current seating configuration adopted in 2005-06 season; Capacity after remodeling of seating area prior to the 2005-06 season changed to 13,215.

Rank Attendance Opponent Date
1. 13,997 Kentucky Feb. 10, 2015
2. 13,882 Oklahoma Jan. 30, 2016
3. 13,839 Xavier (Ohio) Jan. 24, 2009
4. 13,610 Arkansas Jan. 16, 2016
5. 13,600 Alabama Jan. 13, 2018
6. 13,581 Tennessee Feb. 23, 2019
7. 13,573 Kentucky Jan. 5, 2016
8. 13,546 Vanderbilt March 9, 2019
9. 13,468 Florida Feb. 27, 2016
13,468 Georgia Jan. 25, 2006
11. 13,345 Florida Feb. 24, 2009
12. 13,311 Arkansas Feb. 2, 2019
13 13,260 Kentucky Feb. 18, 2020
14. 13,249 Vanderbilt March 4, 2009
15. 13,123 Mississippi St. Feb. 6, 2016
16. 13,121 Connecticut Jan. 6, 2007
17. 13,083 Kentucky Feb. 6, 2010
18. 12,928 Texas A&M Feb. 13, 2016
19. 12,881 Tennessee Feb. 8, 2022
20. 12,734 Arkansas Feb. 15, 2022

Top 20 Men’s Basketball Crowds (Paid)

Previous Seating Configuration

Rank Attendance Opponent Date
1. 15,694 Ole Miss Feb. 25, 1981
2. 15,399 Ole Miss Jan. 19, 1991
3. 15,242 Alabama Jan. 21, 1989
4. 15,192 Kentucky Jan. 19, 1981
5. 15,109 Vanderbilt Jan. 2, 1991
6. 15,093 Auburn Jan. 20, 1982
7. 14,987 Ole Miss Feb. 1, 1989
8. 14,799 Ole Miss Jan. 21, 1995
9. 14,687 Tennessee Jan. 24, 1981
10. 14,568 Auburn Jan. 15, 1979
11. 14,551 Kentucky Feb. 11, 1978
11. 14,551 UCLA Dec. 17, 1994
13. 14,486 Auburn Feb 9, 2000
14. 14,460 McNeese State Jan. 20, 1992
15. 14,449 Vanderbilt Jan. 7, 1981
16. 14,444 Houston Dec. 6, 1983
17. 14,429 Vanderbilt Jan. 31, 1981
18. 14,418 Kentucky Feb. 3, 1979
19. 14,417 Florida March 1, 1989
20. 14,413 Kentucky Jan. 27, 1973