Renovations to BenJo

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Renovations to BenJo

Postby Ruckus on Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:54 am

I am hearing rumors again about us doing something to BenJo or building a new arena on campus. Anybody heard anything more specific that they can share?
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Re: Renovations to BenJo

Postby woffordgrad94 on Sun Sep 14, 2014 9:06 pm

I haven't heard anything, but I will say that this basketball program needs and deserves some facility upgrades. Who knows how far our program could rise if more is put into it?
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Re: Renovations to BenJo

Postby Hobo on Sun Sep 14, 2014 9:42 pm

I have no details, but I have also heard that it is happening. Wish I knew more.
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Re: Renovations to BenJo

Postby Art Vandalay on Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:51 am

In the just released "Strategic Vision Executive Summary" for the college, a new arena is mentioned. I assume that could be a renovation of the BenJo, or it could be a new venue. Along with that vision is a marketing plan, so get the checkbook out.

http://www.wofford.edu/uploadedFiles/Ma ... for+Review
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Re: Renovations to BenJo

Postby Terrier13 on Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:03 pm

I know there had been some talk in 2013 about developing a new basketball arena where Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium now sits through a partnership with the city and scheduled to open in the latter half of this decade (2017 at the earliest). The Athletic Dept. had asked some senior finance students to look at the viability of that plan but I'm not sure the current status or anything. That said, while a partnership with the city sounds nice in theory, I wouldn't want our basketball team to have to share it's court with a high school like our football team shares with Spartan High. Our teams deserve better than that and if we want to continue the positive momentum we've developed towards not being viewed as "small time," it's my opinion that we should avoid that at all costs. For what it's worth, SMA was opened in 1951 so the building has been around for a while.
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Re: Renovations to BenJo

Postby Art Vandalay on Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:40 pm

I don't keep up with SMA to any great extent, but I understand it was refreshed or rehabbed a couple of years ago, and is now a decent venue for what Spartanburg needs in an auditorium. I don't think there is a chance that SMA would be torn down to give Wofford a footprint for an arena. Looking across the street, Church Street, that motel which, I think, was just torn down on the corner Pearl and Church might make sense if one could figure out parking. And I don't care how we make extra money from it as long as it's branded Wofford.
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Re: Renovations to BenJo

Postby youngterrier on Tue Sep 16, 2014 5:47 pm

President Samhat addressed Campus Union yesterday and said there was no set plan for the location, though over by the football stadium or in the gravel lot across the street from Shipp/Dupre were viable options.

Also, Women's Lacrosse is coming to wofford in the next 5 years, with men's lacrosse following soon after
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Re: Renovations to BenJo

Postby Terrier13 on Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:10 pm

They've also talked about putting a much needed new dorm over in the gravel lot across from the Horseshoe/adjacent to the tennis complex so we'll have to see once they release the facilities plan. Perhaps at the Cummings St. maintenance facility near the intramural fields since basketball could use the same parking space as football. I've also heard Andrew's Fieldhouse is expected to be taken down at some point but I doubt that would be a large enough space to build a basketball arena (perhaps a new campus life building where Andrew's is and a rebuild of the BenJo where it currently sits? Just throwing out ideas at this point... It would be nice to see our basketball teams get the facilities they deserve though. Something akin to Belk Arena at Davidson would be nice (assuming we'd want a similar size arena since we're a similar size school).
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Re: Renovations to BenJo

Postby dude on Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:26 am

I think it would be a huge mistake to build something too large or to move basketball off-campus. The arena needs to be in a place convenient for students, in my opinion. A 6,000 seat kind of arena would hardly ever fill up. I think Wofford should take the approach of having an intimate, LOUD setting for basketball....rather than trying to have a big enough gym to lure the one "big-time" visiting opponent a year or whatever.

Given space concerns on the campus, I think a BenJo renovation might make the most sense. OF course, I'm not an architect and don't really know what the possibilities are. But I would think improvement there could be accomplished.
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Re: Renovations to BenJo

Postby youngterrier on Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:30 pm

dude wrote:I think it would be a huge mistake to build something too large or to move basketball off-campus. The arena needs to be in a place convenient for students, in my opinion. A 6,000 seat kind of arena would hardly ever fill up. I think Wofford should take the approach of having an intimate, LOUD setting for basketball....rather than trying to have a big enough gym to lure the one "big-time" visiting opponent a year or whatever.

Given space concerns on the campus, I think a BenJo renovation might make the most sense. OF course, I'm not an architect and don't really know what the possibilities are. But I would think improvement there could be accomplished.


The idea is to build a new arena that would help with not just the basketball team, but other sports as well (perhaps one that could support an indoor track, for instance)
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Re: Renovations to BenJo

Postby dude on Wed Sep 17, 2014 4:28 pm

I am generally opposed to "multi-purpose" places that are oversized for their main sport. But if they can do it right, then groovy.
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Re: Renovations to BenJo

Postby walliver on Wed Sep 17, 2014 5:09 pm

I don't see how the BenJo can updated short of tearing down the basketball portion and completely rebuild it.

Do we still own the SMA land? I know that originally we leased it to the county with a 99 year lease, but vaguely remember that we might have actually sold it at some point.
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Re: Renovations to BenJo

Postby Eyes of Old Main on Thu Sep 18, 2014 12:54 am

I agree that smaller is better for any new arena. I think 5000 seats should be the maximum. I am fine with the size of our current arena, but not having seating on the ends is small time. There's nothing worse than the roll up door we have behind a basket where there should be some boisterous students.

I think we should consider something like what Samford has. It's multipurpose, allows for sectioning off portions to keep smaller crowds from spreading out, generally has the look of a smaller version of larger arenas and is built as a part of a larger building much like our Campus Life building.
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Re: Renovations to BenJo

Postby boulder3m on Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:52 am

Reading the posts, the one thing I hope is that some of you are included in the committee that will work on an arena expansion idea. It sounds like the Samford arena is a very good prototype. The Belk arena at Davidson is a beautiful. As a small college arena it works in so many ways, but it probably is not filled on many occasions. It is easy to not like multi-function design, but let's face it- it makes more sense when money is an object. An arena that allows for seating that can be pulled back to give multiple courts for various sports certainly makes sense. Those in the business are making very comfortable and workable accordion seating complexes. At Davidson their alleged football players sit behind the opposing bench and try to become obnoxious; lending some more home court advantage. At least one end of the court with seating for students would be a huge improvement. I certainly don't know what the feeling is for use for outside concerts, lectures, shows, etc., but that would have to be a consideration. With Wofford growing to 1,600 students there needs to be a place for functions that can handle big gatherings. It will be an interesting and exciting study.
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Re: Renovations to BenJo

Postby njterrier on Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:10 am

New arena: Behind the football field on Cummings St.
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