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Address: 2700 Bearcats Way, Cincinnati, Ohio 45221
On December 15, 2015 the University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees approved an $87-million, privately funded renovation of Fifth Third Arena, home of the Bearcats men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball teams. Construction is scheduled to begin in April 2017 and be completed in fall 2018.
Proposed improvements to the facility, built in 1989 and originally named the Myrl H. Shoemaker Center, include the creation of a 360-degree seating bowl, new HD scoreboard, ribbon boards, sound system, an LED lighting system which will allow for enhanced gameday presentation, new restroom and concession facilities, a new upper-level concourse with its own fan amenities, expanded food and beverage options and a new main entrance and plaza with centralized ticketing and guest services. The renovated arena also will feature upgraded locker room spaces, expanded premium seating options, including a courtside club, arena club and concourse club as well as enclosed suites, loge seating, a new Bearcats Lounge and super suites.
One of the 20 winningest programs in the nation, Cincinnati men's basketball has won more than 1,700 games while claiming 28 conference titles, 10 league tournament crowns and two national championships. The Bearcats were the 2014 American Athletic Conference regular-season champions and currently rank as one of only 11 programs in the nation to advance to the NCAA tournament each of the past five seasons.
Through the years, the facility has served as host to 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.
Men's and women's basketball and volleyball home events will be conducted off campus during the 2017-18 season while construction is underway.
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, 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.