Xfinity Center
XfinityCenter logo
Xfinity Center exterior
Xfinity Center exterior
Former namesComcast Center (2002–2014)
LocationPaint Branch & Regents Dr
College Park, Maryland U.S.
Coordinates38°59′43″N 76°56′29″W / 38.99528°N 76.94139°W / 38.99528; -76.94139Coordinates: 38°59′43″N 76°56′29″W / 38.99528°N 76.94139°W / 38.99528; -76.94139
OwnerMaryland Stadium Authority
OperatorMaryland Stadium Authority
Capacity17,950
SurfaceHardwood
Construction
Broke groundJuly 1, 2000[1]
OpenedOctober 11, 2002
Construction costUS$125 million
($188 million in 2021 dollars[2])
ArchitectEllerbe Becket[3]
Design Collective, Inc.[4]
Structural engineerDelon Hampton & Associates[5]
General contractorGilbane[6]/Smoot
Tenants
Maryland Terrapins men's basketball
Maryland Terrapins women's basketball
Maryland Terrapins volleyball
Maryland Terrapins wrestling (2002–present)
University of Maryland, College Park campus

Xfinity Center is the indoor arena and student activities center that serves as the home of the University of Maryland Terrapins men's and women's basketball teams. Ground was broken in May 2000 and construction was completed in October 2002 at a cost of $125 million.[7] It replaced Cole Field House as the Terrapins' home court, which had served as the home of Maryland basketball since 1955.

The on-campus facility was originally named the Comcast Center after Comcast Corporation purchased a 20-year, $25 million corporate naming agreement when the arena opened in 2002. In July 2014, it was renamed Xfinity Center after Comcast's cable brand, Xfinity.

Xfinity Center, which has a capacity of 17,950,[8] opened for Midnight Madness on October 11, 2002, and the first official men's game was a 64–49 victory over Miami University (Ohio) on November 24, 2002. In its first season, 281,057 fans visited to watch Terrapin basketball games for a per-game average of 17,566 as Maryland finished fifth in the nation in attendance.[9] On January 25, 2012, the court was renamed in honor of Gary Williams, the men's basketball coach who retired the previous year.

Though Xfinity Center is the largest arena in the state of Maryland, it is the second-largest arena in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area by seating capacity, just behind Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., which has an official seating capacity of roughly 500 more than Xfinity Center. The facility is also used for concerts, graduation ceremonies including those for the University of Maryland, state high school basketball tournaments, and other special events. Concert seating capacity is nearly 19,000.

New videoboard installed prior to the 2014–2015 season
New videoboard installed prior to the 2014–2015 season
The Xfinity Center before a 2019 men's basketball game between Maryland and the University of Illinois.
The Xfinity Center before a 2019 men's basketball game between Maryland and the University of Illinois.

Amenities

In addition to the main basketball court, Xfinity Center also features a 1,500-seat gymnasium for volleyball, gymnastics, and wrestling, and a 7,000-square-foot (650 m2) academic support center for student-athletes. The facility also holds Heritage Hall, a 400-seat multi-purpose room overlooking the arena's seating bowl equipped to host banquets, press conferences, meetings and serve as a pregame restaurant. The team's athletic store and university athletic offices are located in the facility as well. Inside the lobby on the east side of the facility is the Terrapin Walk of Fame and History, featuring many images of the past of Maryland athletics as well as the 2002 men's national championship trophy and the 2006 women's national championship trophy.[9]

In 2014, the university replaced the building's original scoreboard with a new, start-of-the-art center hung Daktronics videoboard that features two side displays measuring approximately 12.5 feet (3.8 m) high by 33 feet (10 m) wide and two end displays measuring approximately 9 feet (2.7 m) high by 16.5 feet (5.0 m) wide making it one of the largest jumbotrons in college basketball. The videoboard can display one single image to show live video and replays, but can also be divided into separate windows to display graphics, animations, game statistics, scoring information and advertisements. The Xfinity Center also features four message displays in each corner of the facility that are used to display closed captioning.[10]

Student section

Exterior, Summer 2007
Exterior, Summer 2007

The student section contains 4,000 seats arranged in the first ten rows on all sides of the arena, among the largest student sections in the Big Ten.[11] The most notable feature of the arena is the steeply pitched kop-style seating area at the west end of the arena behind the visiting team's second half basket, informally known as "the Wall." Originally designed to reduce excavation costs due to a hill, the area features 2,600 student seats meant to intimidate opposing players who shoot free throws in the second half. Maryland has long had a reputation for having one of the most raucous student sections in the nation for several years before Xfinity Center opened in 2002, and FanSided ranked Xfinity as the fifteenth-best college basketball atmosphere in 2018.[12]

Because of the athletic department's online lottery system which distributes tickets to students, most games are student sell-outs. Student attendance is typically highest for conference games, non-conference games against top teams (such as the annual Big Ten-ACC Challenge), and the annual "Maryland Madness" event (formerly, though still colloquially, known as "Midnight Madness") held in October to signify the official start of the college basketball season. Attendance by students is generally lowest for early season exhibition and non-conference games, as well as games played while the students are on Thanksgiving and winter break.

Notable games at Xfinity Center

Fans storm the court after Maryland defeats seventh-ranked Duke in overtime on February 12, 2005.
Fans storm the court after Maryland defeats seventh-ranked Duke in overtime on February 12, 2005.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Comcast Center". University of Maryland Facilities Management. Archived from the original on November 22, 2014. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
  2. ^ 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved April 16, 2022.
  3. ^ "Maryland Stadium Authority - University of Maryland Comcast Center". Ellerbe Becket. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
  4. ^ "Architects Chosen for University of Maryland Arena" (Press release). Ellerbe Becket. August 24, 1999. Archived from the original on May 13, 2012. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
  5. ^ "Comcast Center". Delon Hampton & Associates. Archived from the original on April 2, 2012. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
  6. ^ "What's On Deck?". SportsBusiness Journal. July 30, 2001. Retrieved October 22, 2011.
  7. ^ "University of Maryland Comcast Center". Maryland Stadium Authority. Archived from the original on October 11, 2009. Retrieved December 31, 2007.
  8. ^ "Comcast Center". Maryland Athletics. Retrieved December 31, 2007.
  9. ^ a b "XFINITY Center - Maryland Terrapins Athletics - University of Maryland Terps Official Athletic Site". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04.
  10. ^ "Maryland Athletics Takes Fan Experience to Next Level - Maryland Terrapins Athletics - University of Maryland Terps Official Athletic Site". Archived from the original on 2015-05-14.
  11. ^ beezer07 (2018-02-08). "B1G Basketball: The Best Student Sections". Off Tackle Empire. Retrieved 2019-12-09.
  12. ^ "NCAA Basketball: 30 best arena atmospheres in college hoops". Busting Brackets. 2018-07-29. Retrieved 2019-12-09.
  13. ^ North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Maryland Terrapins - Play By Play - February 21, 2009 - ESPN