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The Frank Erwin Center
The Drum, The Superdrum
Frank Erwin Center.png

Erwin center 2005.jpg
Former names Special Events Center
Location 1701 Red River St
Austin, TX 78701
Broke ground 1977
Opened November 1977
Owner The University of Texas
Operator The University of Texas
Surface Hardwood/Turf
Construction cost $34,000,000 USD
Architect B.W. Crain, Jr.
Capacity 16,755 (Basketball)
Tenants
Texas Longhorns (NCAA) (1977–present)
Austin Wranglers (af2) (2004–2008)

The Frank C. Erwin, Jr. Special Events Center — usually just The Frank Erwin Center in common usage — is a multi-purpose arena on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin. It is also sometimes referred to as "The Drum" or "The Superdrum", owing to its drum-like appearance from outside (not to be confused with Big Bertha, the large bass drum used by the University of Texas marching band). The facility is primarily the home court for the UT men's and women's basketball programs.

Contents

History

The center, intended to replace Gregory Gymnasium, cost $34 million to build in 1977. The first event to play at the Center was a UT basketball game which occurred on November 29, 1977[ http://www.uterwincenter.com/applause/2007/mar07ap/erc30.html]UT began a three phase renovation of the center in 2001 and finished in 2003. The building is named for former UT Board of Regents member Frank Erwin, who attended the The University of Texas and was a member of the same fraternity, Kappa Sigma, as several other prominent alumni who have had buildings at the University named after them (such as Beauford Jester, William Hogg and Harry Huntt Ransom). As a Regent, Frank Erwin was instrumental in the university making great strides in the expansion of its facilities during his term.[1 ] Originally known as the Special Events Center from 1963 to 1975, the facility was renamed in 1980 to honor Erwin, who had died that same year. The University has been in recent discussions about selling the naming rights for the Erwin Center.

Seating

A two-level layout (the lower arena and upper mezzanine) accommodates up to 16,755 spectators. The outer ring of the arena averages around 20 rows deep, while the mezzanine is slightly deeper at around 24 rows. The size of the arena's inner ring is highly dependent on the event being hosted.

Current Use

Located right next to downtown Austin, Texas, The Erwin Center is generally accepted to be Austin's current premier venue for large public and private events. The center holds many diverse events ranging from concerts to wrestling events and private banquets. The Erwin Center also hosts the semifinals and finals of the University Interscholastic League boys' and girls' basketball playoffs in all five classifications.

FEC during a University of Texas basketball game


External links

Coordinates: 30°16′37″N 97°43′56″W / 30.276958°N 97.732216°W / 30.276958; -97.732216

References

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