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Profile Of The Past: Memorial Coliseum – Part 2 Of 4

Posted by Matt on March 7, 2008


Part 1 (link) 

Distinctive Features

Considering the exterior of Memorial Coliseum is fairly simple in design and color, it may only be fitting that there is little in the way of symbols, icons, or monuments that can be directly linked with the arena. This apparent lack of distinctive features, however, does little to detract from the overall uniqueness of the building considering the structure alone is a Lexington icon. The sheer imposing nature of the size and the conspicuous location of Memorial Coliseum, coupled with the fact that it was home to the legendary Kentucky men’s basketball team for nearly 25 years, has burnt the image of the arena in to many people’s memory as a landmark of its own.


Despite the fact that Memorial Coliseum was finished in 1950, its original conception came in 1941 and it was the brain child of the President of the University of Kentucky at the time, H.L. Donovan. Mr. Donovan wanted a student facility that would adequately support Kentucky athletics and students’ health and physical education. From the moment it was completed, Memorial Coliseum served as the primary arena for the men’s basketball team from 1950 until it moved to the team’s current home, Rupp Arena, in 1976 and was the home of the swimming and diving team until the completion of the Lancaster Aquatic Center in 1989. The building has also housed the women’s basketball team from 1950 until present day, the women’s volleyball team from the team’s creation in 1977 until present day, and is also the current home-gym of the women’s gymnastics team.

The functions of Memorial Coliseum are not limited strictly to sanctioned athletics, however, as the building houses many athletic administration and training offices and is part of the adjoining practice facility for the men’s and women’s basketball teams. The valuable space inside is also utilized for various student activities such as the Dance Blue dance marathon for charity, the Midnight Finals Crunch Brunch, a stress relieving gathering for students during final exams, and men’s basketball student ticket lotteries.

To be continued…


One Response to “Profile Of The Past: Memorial Coliseum – Part 2 Of 4”

  1. […] The Nasty Boys Sports Blog give Part 2 Of 4 of their Profile Of The Past: Memorial Coliseum segment. Part 1 can be found here. […]

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