Home to University of Cincinnati men’s and women’s basketball and women’s volleyball since 1989, Fifth Third Arena has served as the venerable backdrop and to numerous exciting moments in Bearcats Athletics.
The 13,176-seat facility opened as the Myrl H. Shoemaker Center, named for the former Ohio Lieutenant Governor. The building was renamed in 2004 to recognize Fifth Third Bank's generous support of the athletic facilities improvement campaign.
The festive arena, with 16 private executive suites, new Daktronics video boards and restaurant and lounge area overlooking the court, provides a loud and raucous home-court advantage for the Bearcats.
A new portable playing surface, the All-Star Plus which is used by several NBA teams, was installed for the 2003-04 season and resurfaced prior to the 2012-13 campaign.
UC's proud history and tradition are well-represented in the Fifth Third Arena. The playing surface is named Ed Jucker Court in honor of the coach who directed the Bearcats to two men's basketball national championships (1961 and 1962). UC's All-Americans are recognized by photo banners hanging in the concourses.
The south wall of the arena is decorated with the numerous men's basketball championship banners and the retired jerseys of Bearcat greats Oscar Robertson, Jack Twyman and Kenyon Martin. The north wall recognizes volleyball and women's basketball championships, as well as UC's All-Americans.
Fifth Third Arena has served as host of the 1994 Great Midwest Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament, the 1998 Conference USA Men's Basketball Tournament, the 1998 Conference USA Volleyball Tournament, the 1999 NCAA Mideast Women's Basketball Regional, the 2003 NCAA Women's Basketball West Sub-Regional, and the 2006 BIG EAST Volleyball Tournament.
Fifth Third Arena stands at the center of the Richard E. Lindner Varsity Village. It is connected to the Lindner Athletic Center, which allows convenient access to the Bearcats' state-of-the-art sports medicine and strength & conditioning centers, as well as all administrative and coaching offices and the Nancy Hamant Academic Center.
The UC volleyball squad beat Toledo on Sept. 12, 1989 in the first organized athletic event in the new $32-million facility. The men’s basketball team defeated Minnesota 66-64 in the first game played at the venue on Nov. 25, 1989. The UC men’s basketball team is 320-172 all-time at Fifth Third Arena.
Fifth Third Arena has been the ultimate home court advantage for the Bearcats volleyball team. Since the arena’s inception, the UC has produced a .760 winning percentage (212-67) in matches played at home, as well as a .823 winning percentage (130-28) in conference matches played at home.
Additionally, Fifth Third Arena has hosted 10 regular-season volleyball tournaments, one conference tournament and four nationally televised matches.