Hec-ed gets a remodel



start-take #hide#show http_user_agent="Lynx"#show Hec-ed gets a remodel #hide#show http_user_agent="Lynx"#show #hide#show http_user_agent="Lynx"#show photo start BRUCE JARRELL/The Daily photo end by Nick Flett #hide#show http_user_agent="Lynx"#show The Daily #hide#show http_user_agent="Lynx"#show     

    It has hosted an NBA playoff game, concerts and countless college sporting events.

    This year, however, Hec Edmundson Pavilion will only be hosting construction crews.

    The 72-year-old building is currently undergoing a massive renovation, which means those teams that called Hec Ed home last year are being relocated to new digs this year.

    The men's basketball team play in Key Arena, home of the Seattle SuperSonics, while the women's basketball team will split time between Key Arena and Mercer Arena. The volleyball and gymnastics squads will move to the pavilion addition while the track team loses its ability to host home indoor meets.

    The moves will mean a lot of adjustments and changes for the Husky squads at home. Greg Metcalf, assistant track coach, said the ensuing adversity comes as no surprise.

    "Our kids are going to adjust and overcome. We all know what's ahead of us," Metcalf said. "We knew this was coming and all of the coaches are prepared for this."

    For some, the move could provide some advantages. The women's basketball team will play in the 4,500-seat Mercer Arena, which is a little more than half the size of Hec Ed, meaning that the crowds will be packed into the building.

    According to Jim Daves, former media relations director, a crowded house will be good for the team.

    "Mercer will be a tremendous home court advantage for a year," Daves said.

    On the other hand, the volleyball and gymnastics teams will be crammed into the pavilion addition which seats approximately 1,000, far below the high-end draws for both teams.

    Bob Levesque, head gymnastics coach, does not want to turn fans away because of a limited seating capacity.

    "My concern is this: since there's a lower seating capacity, we'll be turning people away. One of my major concerns is that we will turn people off of Husky gymnastics," Levesque said.

    Last year, the volleyball team averaged exactly 1,000 attendees per match, while the gymnastics team drew an average of 1,371 per meet.

    According to Daves, all of this means the demand for seating at gymnastics and volleyball events will be higher than the supply of seating in the pavilion addition.

    "It's going to be 'get there early' if you want to come," Daves said.

    A lack of seating will not be a problem at Key Arena, which seats a little more than 17,000. Getting students down to the Seattle Center, however, has been of some concern.

    Eric Hughes, assistant men's basketball coach, said he's trying to think realistically about the situation.

    "I don't think we're going to be naive enough to think we'll sell out Key Arena," Hughes said.

    Hughes, however, compared the situation to that of the University of California-Berkley. The Golden Bears' student attendance was not hurt while the team played in the Oakland Coliseum, home of the Golden State Warriors.

    Hughes said he believes this is indicative of how things will be for the Huskies' season at Key Arena.

    "I think we'll still get a great student turnout," Hughes said.

    Currently, the school is in discussions with Metro about arranging transportation for students to and from the Seattle Center As of mid-August nothing has been finalized.

    The move to Seattle Center may, in fact, boost non-student attendance in some respects.

    Head women's basketball coach June Daugherty says that many business people have said that the move off campus makes it easier for them to get to games and to entertain clients at games.

    People are also lining up for tickets as those who have season tickets this season will be given priority in getting season tickets at the new Hec Ed.

    As for the track and field team, it will host future indoor meets at the new indoor practice facility, as the new Hec Ed will not have atrack. The indoor practice facility, part of the campaign for the student athlete, will have a four-lane, 300-meter track. Construction has yet to begin on the facility as the location of it has not yet been finalized.

    Despite all of the inconveniences associated with the loss of Hec Ed, all of the affected coaches agree that it will be well worth the ultimate benefit the new facilities will bring.

    "Everybody is ecstatic. We use it as a recruiting tool to sell to our kids. They're going to play in one of the best facilities in the Pac-10 and maybe the nation," Hughes said.

    Daugherty has also used the new Hec Ed to recruit, saying, "Everybody wants to play in a great arena and that's what Hec Ed will become.

    "It really shows the commitment the University has to basketball, volleyball and gymnastics." #hide#show http_user_agent="Lynx"#show Previous article Next article Copyright©1999 The Daily University of Washington  

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