Williams Arena is in the heart of the University of Minnesota on the Main Campus located in Minneapolis, MN and it is the home of the Minnesota Golden Gophers Men's and Women's Basketball teams. They broke ground for Williams Arena in 1927 and opened in 1928. From 1928 to 1950, Williams Arena was known as the Minnesota Field House. In the 1950's the arena was renovated and renamed Williams Arena after Dr. Henry L. Williams, the Gopher Football coach from 1900 to 1921. Williams Arena is affectionately referred to as "The Barn." and the Williams Arena Student Section in recent years has been dubbed "the Barnyard". Students are often seen in barnyard animal costumes at Gopher Basketball Games.
During the renovation, the Williams Arena property was separated into two separate arenas within one main building. The larger of the two was used for basketball and the smaller for hockey, until March 2, 1985 when the hockey section was renamed Mariucci Arena after John Mariucci. The old Mariucci Arena was remodeled into the Sports Pavilion and now houses the volleyball, wrestling, and gymnastic teams. The Williams Arena hosted the 1951 NCAA's Men's Division I championship game and the Frozen Four in 1958 and in 1966.
Williams Arena has a unique raised floor. The court is raised above the ground estimated of about 2 feet so that the players' benches, officials tables, etc are actually below the court. The fans in the first row looking at the players are at about knee-level. The only head coaches and, of course, officials and players are allowed to be on the court. The raised floor is one of only a few remaining parts that contribute to the history of the 80-year-old arena. In 2009 Williams Arena got a new floor, but alumni and former Gopher Basketball Players led the fight to make sure the new floor was and always will be raised.
In 1950 until the grand opening of the Marriott Center at Brigham Young University in 1971, Williams Arena had the leading capacity of any collegiate basketball arena in the country. From 1928 to 1950, Williams Arena seated 14,100; 1950 to 1971 it seated 18,025; 1971 to 1987 it seated 17,500; 1987 to 1993 it seated 16,434; and from 1993 to present day, it now seats 14,321 when the Williams Arena Seating Chart is at capacity.
A long list of great college basketball's players have run the Williams Arena hardwood throughout the years, and many memorable games have been contested within the Williams Arena walls. The Golden Gopher Men's Basketball team has a winning tradition at "The Barn" which makes these hot tickets on the University campus. If you are interested in tickets at Williams Arena, don't delay and buy them now because the best seats disappear quickly. Buy your Williams Arena Tickets today!