One of the most historic facilities in college athletics, Devlin Fieldhouse has been the home of the Green Wave basketball for 79 years
One of the historic venues in college basketball has undergone a transformation with the restoration and renaming of the 79-year-old building that has been home to the Green Wave basketball and volleyball teams. Devlin Fieldhouse officially opened on Nov. 9, 2012, when the Tulane women topped Louisiana Tech, 66-59, to open the 2012-13 season.
The Devlin Fieldhouse is named in honor of longtime supporters Bob and Kate Devlin. Bob Devlin is the current Chairman of Curragh Capital Partners, an investment firm headquartered in New York City. A 1964 graduate of Tulane, Devlin serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Tulane University, where he is also a member of the Intercollegiate Athletics committee. He is a former chairman and current member of the Board's Endowment Management committee.
The Devlin name is no stranger to Tulane Athletics. Following Hurricane Katrina, Kate and Bob Devlin's generosity was the driving force behind the Devlin Student-Athletes for Education Center for Leadership Development, which allows Tulane student-athletes to make an even greater impact on our community by developing new associations and relationships with schools and nonprofit organizations. The S-AFE Center incorporates the principals of philanthropic service and leadership into the student-athlete experience and enhances the Tulane athletics department's outreach efforts with coordinated planning, training and oversight.
Architects from Gould Evans, a Kansas City firm that designed the Hertz Center and is now designing Yulman Stadium, Tulane's new football stadium, and local firm Lachin-Oubre have been working with Tulane University to complete enhancements and upgrades to the existing basketball and volleyball facility to rediscover and highlight the building's unique historic characteristics while creating a distinguished game-day atmosphere for the entire Green Wave community.
Phase 1 of the project construction began last spring and Tulane fans can look forward to new state of the art chair back seating on the entire home side and above the student section, as well as contoured bench seating throughout the rest of the arena, along with new concession and merchandise stands. The acoustical ceiling was removed to reveal the original steel structure and wooden ceiling. New lighting was installed to provide television-broadcast quality light levels. There is a new Gameday Club with bar seating bookended by lounges available to TAF members. The entry lobby will feature a new ticket booth, terrazzo flooring and a graphic wall displaying historic basketball moments and court flooring.
Phase 2 of the construction is scheduled to begin after the completion of the basketball season and to be in place for the 2013 volleyball season. This phase will include increasing the number of restrooms plus the addition of new visitor locker rooms, officials' locker room and a laundry facility.
The building originally opened on Dec. 15, 1933, and is currently the ninth oldest active basketball venue in the nation.
Construction of the facility was as funded by the Green Wave football team's appearance in the 1932 Rose Bowl. In fact, the facility was unofficially referred to as "Rose Bowl Gym" back in its early days.
Less than two years after the bowl appearance, on Oct. 27, 1933, Tulane Gymnasium was dedicated as part of Homecoming festivities on campus, and play began in the facility for the 1933-34 season. Tulane defeated UL-Lafayette, 38-34, in the facility's first game on Dec. 15, 1933. Tulane Gym was one of the largest in college basketball when it opened, even though there were no court level seats at first. Tulane played host to the 1942 NCAA East Regional in the facility. Floor-level seats were added in 1948.
The Green Wave played all of its home games in the facility until the mid-1970s, when a select number of games were moved to the then-Louisiana Superdome. The Wave moved all of its home games back on campus again after another remodeling was completed in 1981-82.
Prior to the 1989-90 campaign, Tulane Gym was refurbished and renamed to Avron B. Fogelman Arena for the Tulane alumnus. The face lift included improved seating arrangement, a reconditioned floors and renovated locker rooms.The interior arena still carries the Fogelman name.
The Fieldhouse also underwent renovations during the fall of 2001 when the floor was refurbished and air conditioning was added for the first time. In 2003 the Fieldhouse again received upgrades, as locker rooms were remodeled. Retractable bleachers were also installed to offer more court space for practices. The Green Wave volleyball team, which shares the facility with the hoop teams, also enjoys an upgraded locker room. In 2007, the facility received a new floor, scoreboard and signage on the outside of the building.
In 1982, the Fieldhouse was the site of the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-Star Game in conjunction with Tulane's hosting of the NCAA Men's Final Four. Tulane hosted the event again in 1993 and 2012, along with the 3-point and slam dunk competitions.
The Fieldhouse played host to the Conference USA Women's Basketball Tournament in 1999 and 2009.
Oldest active men's basketball arenas in the nation...
1. Matthews Arena - Northeastern - April 16, 1910
2. Rose Hill Gym - Fordham - Jan. 16, 1925
3. Lavietes Pavilion - Harvard - 1926
4. The Palestra - Penn - Jan. 1, 1927
5. Hec Edmundson Pavilion - Washington - Dec. 27, 1927
6. Williams Arena - Minnesota - Feb. 4, 1928
7. Hinkle Fieldhouse - Butler - March 7, 1928
8. Payne Whitney Gym - Yale - Dec. 10, 1932
9. Devlin Fieldhouse - Tulane - Dec. 15, 1933
10. Haas Pavilion - California - 1933
11. Municipal Auditorium - UMKC - 1935
12. Gallagher-Iba Arena - Oklahoma State - Dec. 9, 1938
13. Lundholm Gym - New Hampshire - 1938
14. McAlister Field House - The Citadel - 1939
15. Cameron Indoor Stadium - Duke - Jan. 6, 1940