Nov. 8, 2012
NEW ORLEANS - Tulane University and the Tulane Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced today the restoration of its basketball and volleyball facility and the naming of the historic 79-year-old building that has been home to the Green Wave basketball and volleyball teams.
Devlin Fieldhouse is slated to officially open on Nov. 9 when the Green Wave women hosts Louisiana Tech 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 restoration of this entire facility, now known as Devlin Fieldhouse, is a joyful exercise for Tulane," Tulane Director of Athletics Rick Dickson said. "With the tremendous generosity of Bob and Kate Devlin, our efforts to restore to greatness one of the most historic campus venues in the nation is underway. I'm thrilled for our fans to be able to walk-in and experience the feeling of returning to Rose Bowl Gym.
"Our fans will enter into a newly renovated lobby with historic elements such as new ticketing and concessions all on terrazzo floors. The restoration will feature a new seating bowl with plush chair backs and contoured bench seating. On the home side, our TAF donors will be entertained in our book-end club lounges as well as new viewing from rail-seating within the club areas. The bonus of this Phase I project is exposing and restoring the redwood ceiling and brick that has been covered all these years. This provides one of the more historic and unique settings in all of college basketball. I know all of you join me in thanking Bob and Kate Devlin, as well as other donors, for their generosity in restoring one of our great treasures."
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.
"Tulane and New Orleans represent a meaningful foundation for both of us," Bob Devlin said. "Under the leadership of President Scott Cowen, the capable faculty, the dedication of Athletic Director Rick Dickson, the motivation of Coach Ed Conroy and the commitment of the student-athletes, Tulane ranks among the universities that hold the highest academic performance rates in the country. This has inspired us to be involved in the renovation of the athletic facilities and to continue to give our student-athletes the home court advantage.
"There is a transformation occurring on Tulane's campus and the rebuilding continues. We are pleased to be a part of this transformation. With great appreciation to Tulane, you taught us to stay in the biggest game, the game of life."
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.
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
Tulane Basketball, Volleyball Coaches on Devlin Fieldhouse...
Tulane Head Men's Basketball Coach Ed Conroy-
"This an exciting time for our program and the university. We want to thank Bob and Kate Devlin for their support of the program and their generous contributions that make Devlin Fieldhouse one of the best venues in the country. The restorations made to the newly renamed Devlin Fieldhouse not only make it a better place for our fans to watch us play, but also brings out the rich history and tradition the building has had since it opened in 1933."
Tulane Head Women's Basketball Lisa Stockton-
"I am thrilled to have the Devlin Fieldhouse opening this season. Our practice facility, the Hertz Center, has been such a great asset to us in the day-to-day activities of our program and the Devlin Fieldhouse is the next step as we now have a new place to play our games. It still has the intimate atmosphere and historical look that I've always loved about the facility, but with modern amenities that our fans will enjoy. I think everyone will be impressed by the new look and we are so excited to be playing in our new home."
Tulane Head Volleyball Coach Sinisa Momic-
"Devlin Field house is another upgrade in our athletic facilities on campus, and it will have a great impact on many different levels. Our campus now has a great arena for basketball and volleyball and our recruits will love seeing it when they visit, and I know our staff and team looks forward to competing in facility our next season.
"Together with the Hertz center, it really gives our volleyball program two brand new, state-of-the-art facilities for training and competing and we are very grateful because we know how much overall improvement each facility can bring to our program."