Carolina Coliseum Undergoes Renovations

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By Monique Willaims

Columbia, S.C. (WOLO) -- The Carolina Coliseum is no longer as we've known it for the last 45 years.

It is currently undergoing renovations to provide a two-court basketball practice facility to be used by both men's and women's basketball.
Due to reconfiguration of the practice facility, the venue will no longer be used to host events, like concerts, in the arena.

Not much has changed on the exterior of the Carolina Coliseum since it opened in 1969.

"It became an instant landmark capable of holding 12,133 attendees for the fighting Gamecocks," said John Sherrer, Director of Cultural Resources for the Historic Columbia Foundation.

Because it was Gamecock-centered, the building was dubbed 'the house that frank built' during the reign of then-ACC South Carolina head basketball coach, Frank McGuire. Sherrer claims that culture expanded over the years.

The multi-use facility, which led to the arrival of big-time sports and entertainment in South Carolina, was utilized for presentations, graduations, and concerts. Even the king of Rock 'n Roll, Elvis Presley, performed there before a sold-out crowd in 1977.

Fast forward some 40 years when concerts and circus acts are a thing of the past, .and the building is returning to its original intent, serving Gamecock nation. It will be converted into a practice facility.

"The main reason it was established there was to showcase the gamecock basketball team. In that respect it's still very much fulfilling that role as a practice facility," said Sherrer.

Renovations are underway this week to make room for the new look and feel of the venue.

The basketball playing facility will be divvied up into two practice court areas, and the rest of the building will be put to classroom use."

Sherrer believes to have gotten rid of the building would have been what he calls a 'shame.' Redirecting its use, he says, is a "W" for everyone.


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