UMaine Basketball Arena Choice

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UMaine Basketball Arena Choice

Postby KVAC_GURU » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:39 pm

Alright folks, I have a question for you, and would love to hear some of the answers and the logic behind them.

If you could decide, would you have UMaine play their home games at The Pit, or The Cross in Bangor?

Note that The Pit is on campus, and would most likely be full for every home game. But, it's old, small, and pretty cramped. The Cross is extremely nice, but looks completely empty every home game, which makes for an awful atmosphere.

Let's hear it
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Re: UMaine Basketball Arena Choice

Postby Linguist » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:51 am

KVAC -

The PIT would not be full for every home game.

The PIT is exactly that, a pit.

The Americans With Disabilities Act basically prohibits the use of the PIT anyway.

Games are better at the Cross Center, and should be played there. This is a non starter discussion.

Win more and more people will go to the games.

Or watch other low to mid major programs and see the attendance at other schools and realize no one really draws a ton of fans. Sure UNC, Duke, Michigan all get fans but how many people are rolling out to a Bucknell game on a snowy Tuesday? Or how many fans is Gardiner-Webb stacking in the seats for a non league Thursday night affair? About the same as attend Maine games in Bangor.
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Re: UMaine Basketball Arena Choice

Postby turkeyman » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:27 am

Linguist got this exactly right. The Pit is a pit. We have attended games there since my wife got cancer, and she can barely navigate the place. If they were to go to the Pit, we would not even think about season tix again. And at the games we have attended in the Pit, I didn't see as many students as I see at the Cross Center.

Rehabbing and moving to the Pit from the Alfond was one of the dumbest ideas that Patrick Nero/Blake James ever had. It was a non-starter. Then again, maybe their intent was to toss out an idea that was so absurd that folks said, "Time to build something new." Who knew the City of Bangor would do it for them?

If Dunbar is correct -- I don't believe he is, but he raised this issue when UMaine moved to the Cross Center from the Alfond -- students will attend only an on-campus game. Again, though, I saw few students in the Alfond when wbb played there. Men's hockey was another matter, back in the day, but for wbb barely more students than attend now in Bangor, if at all.

If folks want to attend a game or games, give them a team that has a chance to win some games, preferably more than it loses (say, win two out of three at home), and folks will find a way to get to the games. For us, being 11 miles closer to CIC than to the Alfond has made a difference of nearly an hour in our round trip. We hop onto I-395 right after the game ends, and we have been home (71 miles) in as little as 75 minutes.

Stay at the Cross Center and give us teams worth watching. Build it (the teams) and they will come.

Bob Neal
New Sharon
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Re: UMaine Basketball Arena Choice

Postby mainejeff » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:59 am

The Pit sucks. Makes a trip to Orono and watching a men's basketball game even more depressing.
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Re: UMaine Basketball Arena Choice

Postby fafan » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:57 am

KVAC_GURU wrote:Alright folks, I have a question for you, and would love to hear some of the answers and the logic behind them.

If you could decide, would you have UMaine play their home games at The Pit, or The Cross in Bangor?

Note that The Pit is on campus, and would most likely be full for every home game. But, it's old, small, and pretty cramped. The Cross is extremely nice, but looks completely empty every home game, which makes for an awful atmosphere.

Let's hear it


Question doesn't specify men's or women's so I will assume you mean UMaine basketball as a whole.
Women's has one of the top draws in the AE and the Cross is a nice fit and produces a good quality atmosphere and game. Yes if the crowd was a little more noisy even better but that is more a reflection of the age of the crowd. With all the games being streamed I find myself only attending a game or two :oops:

With the mens they need to win and playing at the Pit or the Cross won't change things and not quite sure why we are even having this conversation as the Pit is not really even an option anymore although it is like taking a walk back in time. ;)
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Re: UMaine Basketball Arena Choice

Postby Manny99 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:29 pm

Bah Humbug Linquist and MJ!! Saying the Pit is a Pit is like saying Fenway is a dump..... That lyrical little bandbox is a treasure - as is Memorial Gymnasium, aka "The Pit".

Bring the games back to the Pit I say! Shoot, put the UM Band in the Pit and the place is a rockin'!! Put 1000 fans in the Pit, and you've got a great atmosphere, excitement, and gasp... maybe even a home court advantage! Put 1000 fans in the Cross, and you've got - a bad atmosphere to play a College Basketball game in.

So KVAC Guru - chalk my vote in the PIT column!!
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Re: UMaine Basketball Arena Choice

Postby duke11 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:34 pm

The pit is unsafe to play in..not enough room between
The baseline and wall.
Ask former women's player Sam Wheeler, that wall
ended her career early!
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Re: UMaine Basketball Arena Choice

Postby bcbc55 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:36 pm

Manny99 wrote:Bah Humbug Linquist and MJ!! Saying the Pit is a Pit is like saying Fenway is a dump..... That lyrical little bandbox is a treasure - as is Memorial Gymnasium, aka "The Pit".

Bring the games back to the Pit I say! Shoot, put the UM Band in the Pit and the place is a rockin'!! Put 1000 fans in the Pit, and you've got a great atmosphere, excitement, and gasp... maybe even a home court advantage! Put 1000 fans in the Cross, and you've got - a bad atmosphere to play a College Basketball game in.

So KVAC Guru - chalk my vote in the PIT column!!


manny99: I agree with your vote for the "PIT".

duke11:
When I played there in the 50's there used to be folding chairs under each basket so that nobody fell into the wall even though directly under the hoop there were no chairs, but the fans usually got up from either side and protected any player heading for the wall. Plus, there were mats hung up directly under the basket on the wall,

Anyone interested:
If I remember correctly as it was a long time ago The bleachers on the floor held 400 seats on each side. Except were the benches were and the scorers table probably took 50-70 seats,say 60. So about 740 seats.

The seats in the stands on both sides and one end held 1500.

Don't forget the bleachers on one end of the court in the very small balcony opposite the seats

So it sat including the chairs under the baskets 2,300.

For today no chairs under the hoops, just ushers to protect players from the walls during the games.

Take 200 seats 100 from each side one side for team seats and the scorers, timers and stat people and the other side directly opposite the officials scorer, timer and stat people enough seats for press, broadcasters, etc.

So it could seat 2000.

When I reffed the men's/women's games there in the late 70's and in the mid 80's the place was full an hour before every game as all of the women's players were Mainers and they were winning. They were very, very competitive in the Seacoast Conference.

The men were mostly Mainers and they were competitive in the Old YANKEE CONFERENCE PLAYING CONN, MASS, RI, VT and UNH. They were usually ahead of VT and UNH not in or near the cellar like today in the weaker 22nd ranked AE CONF.

There is certainly no question that it used to be a decided home court advantage and could be again. The CIC is no advantage at all. It is a neutral curt as far as the crowd and it's noise goes.

So today they could easily play their home games at the 'PIT' and hold any crowd there that they have had the past seasons under Walsh and Barron.
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Re: UMaine Basketball Arena Choice

Postby mainah57 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:36 am

bcbc55 wrote: The CIC is no advantage at all. It is a neutral curt as far as the crowd and it's noise goes.


Really???? I think this past year's WBB record indicates otherwise.

Agree that it would be nice if games got noisier, but that's up to the fans. To say that playing games there is "no advantage" is asinine.
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Re: UMaine Basketball Arena Choice

Postby rozzie » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:49 am

You forget that a study was done a few years ago, with the idea of updating the pit and making it the basketball venue. However, they would have to spend millions to structurally update it and there would have been a seating capacity of 1700 with NO skyboxes. I asked Blake James at the time what would happen if it became a hot ticket and you had spent $12 million dollars on renovating a space to which you could not add seats or revenue generating luxury boxes? His response? Seat licenses. Really.

So, clamour all you you want for The Pit---it is not a space that is or can sustain(with renovations) a D1 program. They need to figure out something else. Unfortunately, Ted Woodward's idea(when he was an assistant to Giannini) was to use the money they were raising at the time for the Student Center, to build a basketball only facility on campus---for $25 million in the late 90's, that could have been done. Then raise money to gut and renovate the Pit/Fieldhouse/Memorial Gymnasium into a student health facility, which would have been cheaper to do inside an existing structure. I thought that was brilliant..............

If hockey ever turns around, I'd suggest a new on campus arena and convert the Alfond to basketball only. That too, would be a less expensive fix.
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