Is it time to replace Williams Arena?

Is it time to replace Williams Arena?

  • A new building is needed.

  • I love the Barn. We need to keep it.

  • This has been very torn. I simply can't decide


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Ski U Mah Gopher

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you want a concrete block like the Kohl Center? Williams Arena is a beaut...just win.
There will be a big difference.

No Hockey at the new arena.

I'm thinking it would be more like Mizzou than Wisconsin or OSU.
 

manderson1984

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I think you can keep Williams as is. Throw money and make the locker rooms and things like that nice for players. As far as for fans, they could upgrade the bleachers and obstructed view seats. Williams doesn't hurt recruiting as much as other factors. It also doesn't help much at all currently
 

Otis

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Gut the inside and keep the exterior walls. Center the court in the entire building and make modern wide access and modern bathrooms. Maybe even build exterior walls with current brickwork inside and unharmed. Always have a raised court! Make a decent student section! and get rid of the bleacher seats.
 

MennoSota

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Do a significant renovation of Williams. Gut the seating and rebuild so there are no obstructed seats behind poles. Redo the locker rooms and update the concessions.

Either that or create a new stadium with the same structural concept minus the poles.

Williams is a fantastic venue for sitting over the floor and getting loud. I would hate to lose that in a cavern like Kohl, Columbia or Crisler. What we have is utterly unique to basketball. Keep the essence.
 

Otis

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Williams is a fantastic venue for sitting over the floor and getting loud. I would hate to lose that in a cavern like Kohl, Columbia or Crisler. What we have is utterly unique to basketball. Keep the essence.
Some of the smells should be eliminated.
 

jovs

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Poster, go to a game in Crysler sometime and we'll see if you repeat your post, should Cameron be replaced.
 

Spaulding!No!

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Poster, go to a game in Crysler sometime and we'll see if you repeat your post, should Cameron be replaced.
this 'Crysler' you speak of......within your context of correcting another is just so...ummmm
 

gregbrady

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I have been to the renovated Welsh-Ryan arena twice now(was at the game yesterday). This is a good model to follow. Turn the court 90 degrees so the baseline seating is more limited and creates more seats between the baselines. By turning the court this way you can make the lobby area much bigger and would increase space underneath seats on the side of the PAV. All bets are off if it isn't wide enough to do this. The seating capacity might go down a bit, 11-12k would be alright and you can create some better suites between upper and lower decks and possibly a stadium club with actual site lines onto court. Student sections can be on each baseline, closer to court. I'm just an amateur architect, but I think it would work.
 

WindyCityGopher

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FTF, you must have read my post in the Football Forum about what I'd do if I were a billionaire where I said I'd build a replica of the Barn but with modern amenities. :)
 

short ornery norwegian

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One question - what happens to the Pavilion? Would Gopher VB get a stand-along facility, or would they do something similar to the current setup with the Pavilion next door to Williams? That would definitely be an issue in any major rebuild - considering that VB is one of the most successful sports programs at MN.

And of course -the big question - how do you pay for it? I can't see the Legislature kicking in any funding for a project of that size, so you're probably talking about some combination of fund-raising, donations and TV revenue. Not to mention that, in a new arena, the powers-that-be would probably come up with some new "donation fees" for premium seating, ala TCF.

So, be careful what you wish for. If it's not done right, you could wind up with a new expensive building that loses all the charm of the Barn in return for better amenities and higher prices.
 

WriterGoph

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I think it's probably unrealistic that they are going to build a completely new facility and I don't think they should. I agree with the ideas about keeping the framework of Williams but doing major renovations. Definitely need to improve the bathroom and concession situations - could probably remove some of that obstructed seating and put some at the top of those sections.

If they were to ever build a new facility, I sure hope they would build a new version of Williams and keep the general design
 

gopherjay

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The concessions and restrooms are outdated and not able to expand. The seating is not great and the so-called suites are a joke. Renovation will not get this venue to 1st class like it should be. Paying for it is the problem. If the powers to be had the money, the Gophers would be at Target center or Mariucci for two years. Another problem the big hitter "money" boosters are dropping off like crazy.
 

CentralGopher

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Williams is fine but could definitely renovate to remove any obstructed view seats
Are you a structural engineer?. If so please submit your design of how to keep the roof up while removing obstructed views. (Other than removing seats that is)
 

UpAndUnder43

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Williams is fine but could definitely renovate to remove any obstructed view seats
Per my meeting with an athletic department employee, there are plans to massively renovate Williams Arena. The roof and raised floor would remain but there would be significant changes to bathrooms, concourse, food vendors, some seats and suites.
 

row19gopher

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I've heard rumors that it is on the list for remodeling/renovation, but there are a few projects in front of it...namely getting AV paid for first...
 

Flash30

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Tear down but make the rebuild as much like the original as possible a la Missouri basketball and Yankee Stadium.
You took the words right out of my mouth, a replica. If you want nostalgic make some of the seats out of the old barn.
 

UpAndUnder43

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The same people saying they would tear it down are the ones who would complain that playing off-campus for 1-2 seasons set the program back.
 

Ope3

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The same people saying they would tear it down are the ones who would complain that playing off-campus for 1-2 seasons set the program back.
An extensive re-model is not the same as "tear it down". Also they would not need to move off-campus. They could play games at Maturi and 3M Mariucci Arenas and comfortably seat the average attendance now with perhaps moving 1-3 games vs Mich St, Wisc & Iowa to either the Xcel, Target Center or US Bank.
 

GopherBlood666

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Are you a structural engineer?. If so please submit your design of how to keep the roof up while removing obstructed views. (Other than removing seats that is)
I am not a structural engineer but pretty sure they could remove the obstructed lower level bench seats and not have the roof collapse
 

oldrodent

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Raise the roof along with rafters high enough that they are not blocking view and yet keep the coolness of the old. Keep the raised floor. Replace all seating with new and increase the pitch of the sections more in line with like target Center so to get the fans closer to the floor. Move all the grey heads into the seats behind the benches. Expand the student section along the entire length of the floor across from the bench.
 

Hates Monikers

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An extensive re-model is not the same as "tear it down". Also they would not need to move off-campus. They could play games at Maturi and 3M Mariucci Arenas and comfortably seat the average attendance now with perhaps moving 1-3 games vs Mich St, Wisc & Iowa to either the Xcel, Target Center or US Bank.
In fact, I'd bet a lot of people would go to basketball games at Mariucci during construction and think, "Wow, it's pretty nice coming to games here." I used to think replacing Williams Arena was blasphemy until I saw the Xcel Center, Mariuicci and TCF Bank Stadium. There's no reason to think this would become another Kohl Center. They know how to make nice stadiums now.
 

Ope3

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In fact, I'd bet a lot of people would go to basketball games at Mariucci during construction and think, "Wow, it's pretty nice coming to games here." I used to think replacing Williams Arena was blasphemy until I saw the Xcel Center, Mariuicci and TCF Bank Stadium. There's no reason to think this would become another Kohl Center. They know how to make nice stadiums now.
Gopher fans like to rip the Kohl Center. I have been there twice and while yes it was underwhelming, both times the crowd made it hostile for the Gophers, the sight lines were great, and even though I was in the upper deck I did not have to go down several flights of stairs to use the restroom.

As you have said, they also know how to build nice stadiums now that could maintain or create charm like a smaller version of Bankers Life Field House in Indy.
 
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