The Louis Brown Athletic Center, more commonly known as the RAC (for its original name, the Rutgers Athletic Center), is an 9,000-seat multi-purpose arena in Piscataway, New Jersey on the University's Livingston Campus. The arena opened on November 30, 1977 with a win against rival Seton Hall. The building is shaped like a truncated tent with trapezoidal sides on the north and south ends. It is home to the Rutgers University Scarlet Knights basketball teams, both men's and women's. Previously, the University used the 3,200-seat College Avenue Gym from 1931 to 1977.
The arena was known as the Rutgers Athletic Center until 1986, when it was renamed for Louis Brown, a Rutgers graduate and former member of the varsity golf team, who made a large bequest to the University in his will. The building is still largely referred to as "The RAC" (pronounced "rack"), however.
It is known as one of the loudest arenas in college basketball. During the 2002-2003 season, the Scarlet Knights team defeated Syracuse, the eventual National Champion, at the RAC. It has become a common occurrence during recent years for Rutgers to beat teams at the RAC after losing badly to them on the road. For example, in 2003, the Scarlet Knights lost to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish by 11 points at Notre Dame's Joyce Center, but beat the Fighting Irish by 13 points in their other meeting at the RAC.
Former Connecticut Guard Ben Gordon: “It is very difficult at the RAC. They have a great home crowd. The student body and everybody really comes out to support them. Just the way the gym is shaped, it seems like everybody is on top of you. At times, if you're not focused, you can get lost in the game just by how intense the crowd is."
The arena was the home of the NBA's New Jersey Nets from their second year in the NBA, 1977, when the team moved from The Nassau Coliseum, until 1981, when the Brendan Byrne Arena opened at the Meadowlands Sports Complex. It also hosted the 1985 and 1989 Atlantic Ten Conference men's basketball tournaments. The arena is also the site for the girls and boys Middlesex County high school baskeball tournament finals, and various boys and girls New Jersey high school basketball state playoff games.
The arena was used on Friday, April 27, 2007 for Rutgersfest, an annual concert normally held outdoors, but held in the RAC that time due to rain. The performers were The Roots, Hawthorne Heights, and Everclear. Due to lack of seating, only 5,000 tickets were given out, angering the 15,000 or so (est.) other students who were then unable to attend.
The arena is used every June as a graduation hall for Piscataway Township High School, as well as for high schools in surrounding cities. The graduations are free to attend and anyone may attend.
Eastside's Tyrone South, right, and Hoboken's Mike Purvis grapple for a loose ball in the Group 4 sectional final. Both schools will be on the outside looking in today when defending champion Elizabet
Mar 09, 1991; The Record (Bergen County, NJ) 03-09-1991 Eastside's Tyrone South, right, and Hoboken's Mike Purvis grapple for a looseball in...