Convocation Center (Eastern Michigan University)

Convocation Center (Eastern Michigan University)

The Convocation Center is a multi-purpose arena in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The state-of-the-art, $29-million facility is the result of a decade-long effort to improve and upgrade University facilities and followed closely the opening of the $41-million Bruce T. Halle Library on the main campus.

History

Construction of the Convocation Center began in the spring of 1997 and culminated with its grand opening, Dec. 9, 1998, with a men's basketball game against the University of Michigan in front of a crowd of 7,647.

Since its opening, the Convocation Center has served as home court for the Eagles' men's and women's basketball and volleyball teams. The EMU wrestling team has held several dual meets on the arena floor.

The Convocation Center has also served as the site for two Mid-American Conference Championships. EMU hosted the 2000 MAC Gymnastics Championship and the 2002 MAC Wrestling Championship. The arena has been the host site for four first-round MAC Women's Basketball Tournament games, three first-round MAC Volleyball Tournament games and one first-round game for the men's basketball squad.

Along with their commitment to EMU Athletics, the Convocation Center staff has brought some of the finest entertainers in the world to Ypsilanti. The Convo has hosted concerts by the Black Crowes, Indigo Girls, Godsmack, Smashmouth, Ludacris, Toby Keith, Matchbox Twenty, Goo Goo Dolls, and John Mayer. The Convocation Center is also the site for EMU's spring and winter commencement ceremonies. Among other events that have taken place include numerous youth sporting competitions, high school commencements, trade shows, job fairs, conventions, charity and community awareness events as well as a circus.

The facility features three user-friendly levels, arena, concourse and office , and three seating configurations to maximize crowd capacity and space usage. The largest seating capacity is for center-stage entertainment activities, with 9,500 seats available. The capacity for basketball games is approximately 8,800.

EMU's athletic administration is located on the office level, along with offices for the EMU football, men's and women's basketball and volleyball coaching staffs. The EMU Sports Information Office, as well as offices for the Convocation Center staff, are located on the office level.

The main athletic training room and office space for EMU's sports medicine staff is located on the arena level as are strength and conditioning facilities and equipment rooms.

There is no doubt that the Convocation Center has become a special place for athletic events, but there is a warm spot in the hearts of Eastern Michigan fans for Bowen Field House, the home for men's and women's basketball games for 43 years.

Bowen still serves as home to EMU's track teams and also serves as a practice facility for many of Eastern's varsity squads.

2008 WNBA Finals

Due to the unavailability of the Palace of Auburn Hills, Game 3 of the 2008 WNBA Finals, featuring the Detroit Shock and San Antonio Silver Stars was moved the the Convocation Center. The Shock would win game 3 and the WNBA Championship on the court of the Convocation Center. The game was broadcast nationally on ESPN. Two of the Shock's Eastern Conference Finals games were also played at EMU.

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