Mark Gottfried Would Like To Play a Conference Game in Reynolds Coliseum

With all due respect to the late Jim Valvano and his now-realized dream of a new basketball home court that is the PNC Arena, the home place of the true heart and soul of NC State basketball is Reynolds Coliseum.

Any Wolfpack fan old enough to have seen basketball games there in the Valvano era or before would almost certainly agree: it is the place that coaches like Everett Case, Norm Sloan and Jim Valvano patrolled, and it is the place that coaches like Dean Smith and Mike Krzyzewski feared to come and play in, no matter how good their teams were.

Reynolds Coliseum

Reynolds Coliseum

Basically, it was everything Cameron Indoor Stadium is now, but bigger, and without the smarmy pre-planned smartassery that Duke’s students have somehow managed to turn into a caricature of itself (today, the Cameron Crazies are like cartoon characters.)  Reynolds was steamy hot most nights, it was loud, and for the opposition, it was often stifling.  The students and fans were right on top of the action, and the noise inside during a big game would often leave your ears ringing for hours afterwards.  And while Duke fans think they have a perpetual patent on wit, older fans can easily recall shenanigans in Reynolds like everyone raising a newspaper to greet Mike Krzyzewski when Duke visited a couple of days after Coach K had chewed out a reporter for the Duke student paper.

Times change, and the Wolfpack moved on to a newer, larger and better facility, but truth is, for all but the biggest games, the new building has something missing. Sure, the new building doesn’t seem to properly respect the history of the college team that calls it home.  It’s easier to find a parking space, and all the banners are hung in there, the trophies are on display in the hall, but you can tell that NC State is just another tenant in room when you see the plastic banners on the sidelines and the hockey banners mixed in with the national championship ones of NC State.  It’s home now, but it isn’t quiet the same.

Often, you will hear fans lament these changes with wishes that the team could “go back home to Reynolds,” and this week, Wolfpack head coach Mark Gottfried said the same, at least for a single conference game. “I’ve asked [Athletic Director] Debbie [Yow] a couple of times about the possibility of playing a conference game in Reynolds, there are some challenges for her obviously.”

The complexities Coach Gottfried refer to are quickly obvious: Lifetime Seating Rights were sold to fund NC State’s equity portion of the PNC Arena, guaranteeing tickets to those who bought them. It would be all but impossible to relocate those to Reynolds, considering that it has been reconfigured and seats fewer fans – 9,500 now, down from 12,500. Out of those 9,500, some of the tickets would go to the visiting team and to NC State students, lowering the number even further.  That reason alone makes it very difficult for Yow to make it happen.

Speaking from a strictly personal viewpoint, I would love to see it.  While I have no doubts it would be for a visit from a Boston College or perhaps Miami, and not UNC or Duke, it would be really fun to see the old barn burning with Wolfpack passion once again.  And it would be even better to put on a display not only of what once was, but what can be once again.  Eventually, the PNC Arena, which opened in 1999 will need to be have a major overhaul or even be replaced.  Modern arenas tend not to last as long as older ones, and are replaced more quickly.  UNC is starting to talk about replacing the Smith Center, the home it built itself after they outgrew Carmichael Auditorium.  Come 2025 or so, expect the same discussions to start concerning the PNC.

When NC State does contemplate replacing its home floor, it should build its next arena on-campus with the same level of amenities that the PNC offers fans but also the same homecourt advantage that Reynolds offered and seems to be missing today. It should be a place that restores the fan intimacy with seating that comes nearly to courtside.  It should not have a third level located above the scoreboard and so far away from the action that the players seem distant.  Every fan should feel like they are part of the action, and they should feel like their voice can be heard courtside.  Any new arena should allow students to walk to the games without any need for busing, and they should have seats courtside.  Any new arena should NOT have Lifetime Seating Rights as a part of its construction financing because an unintended consequence of LTRs in the PNC are empty seats especially in the lower bowl when well-heeled donors can’t be bothered to attend games that they don’t consider interesting.  Sell those seats to students.  A new area should reflect Wolfpack basketball and Wolfpack basketball only, and there should be no doubt whatsoever to someone who walks in the building who plays there.

In other words, build a “New Reynolds” Coliseum.  The old building probably could not be reconfigured to fit modern needs, so a new one would have to be built.  But it could be a new building that would not only accomodate the needs of NC State in the 21st century, but also accomodate the need of the spirit of Wolfpack basketball to once again have a proper home to call its own.

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Home Forums Mark Gottfried Would Like To Play a Conference Game in Reynolds Coliseum

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    All of this is nice , but I think that someone once said that “you can never go home again”. If they could come up with a way to fill empty seats @ game time ,it would help..



    Alpha – nice write up. Anyone who ever was lucky enough to set foot in Reynolds for a big game new how truly special that place was.

    The feeling is NOT the same in the RBC hockey arena. Glad to see our coach has suppressed his coach speak and said what a lot of have been saying for years….



    Couldn’t agree more, Alpha. I’ve got my own perspective, having grown up a Wolfpack fan who ended up going to DePaul in Chicago. I can tell you from experience that folks around Lincoln Park still remember the Ray Meyer days at Alumni Hall, directly on the campus.

    By the time I got there, however, the team played its games at the Rosemont Horizon (now the Allstate Arena) some 15 miles northwest via I90. I90 is the primary route to O’Hare and the western suburban commute from Chicago, among other things, and it can be a traffic nightmare on any given day.

    Point is, the school unintentionally did everything possible to make it a hardship on DePaul students who might want to show up at a game. As a result, despite two degrees from DePaul and a quarter century of living in the vicinity, I still have yet to attend a DePaul basketball game or become a Blue Demons fan.

    I realize that schools want more ticket sales and amenities, but there’s something to be said for proximity and giving your students a better chance to follow the team and become bigger fans as alumni. Just my two cents.



    I remember sitting courtside behind the Georgia bench in the late sixties playing Georgia. The look on the Georgia players faces told the story of the difference between ACC and SEC basketball in those days. They couldn’t believe the passion for basketball.



    My vote for an ACC game at Reynolds is Duke. Why not? We should be playing them at home EVERY season, not once every other year or every 3 years or whatever King John decrees.

    On the years we already have Duke at the PNC, I’d vote for Maryland.



    I would cast my worthless vote for MARYLAND…January 20. I would pay a BUNCH to make sure that my four Champion Club LTR’s were honored and go to that game.

    now THAT would be a fitting send off to the Twerps…

    I would also pay my fair share of any litigation expenses since the Twerps seem to be of that cult….

    It would really be a HOME crowd as you could severely limit the opposing team’s supply due to the distance….



    I’d like a quiet, intimate week in the tropics with Emily Haines. That wish is no more realistic, sadly.



    I wish they had just torn down that place when they built the ESA/RBC/PNC, so the discussion would just die about bringing any important games back there.

    This is a good write up about the future building though, Alpha. It would be so nice to see a 15 or 16k capacity, on-campus arena that get the students as close to the floor as possible, built in about 15-20 years.



    Would be fun for sure. As observers have pointed out, the PNC (RBC at least when I was there) can certainly get loud when it’s packed and the crowd is really into it. And that’s usually against the big-time opponents that would be the most fun to play in Reynolds. A logistics challenge for sure, but you never know. Could you just not include that game in the package in a future year and sell tickets to that game separately? Could you get people to pay more to cover the decrease in number of tickets? I know they already play in Reynolds, but playing a “real” opponent might up the ante a bit. The fact that they still play there once a year shows that it’s not completely forgotten even from the admin side.



    Not only would I like to see the team play a conference game there, I’d like to see them WIN one there.



    Ideally, an arena the size of MD’s is what we need. There’s no question it’s simply too big except when we play the Blues. But I understand the political realities as to what we built, to share with the hockey team.

    I do NOT understand why we let the wrong-colored seats go. Apparently the contract DID call for NC State red.



    We are already doing about all we can do in the Reynolds of 2013ish. I did like opening up the conversation about thinking of the future and where we want NCSU basketball to play. On campus, around 15k, and having the best of Reynolds and the PNC would be epic. Nice present to ‘older’ alumni like myself in 15-20 years.



    The On/Off campus debate is a double bladed sword.
    Many people like the fact you can park easily at Carter-Finley and have the big tailgate unlike Chapel Hill. When the PNC arena was built and we moved the Basketball team there it increased that aspect of State sports culture. The City of Raleigh and notably the downtown area are expected to continue to grow at a fast rate. I have a gut feeling that at some point in the future the Hurricanes will ask for a downtown arena. If they get it, we will have to make some decisions. I have never liked the fact that on the outside, the PNC arena does not look like it belongs to State or the Canes. Should we take the basketball team back to campus or embrace the fact that we would now own that side of Trinity Rd. How much would it cost to renovate the PNC to give it a State look? Could we put the money into the entire complex(including the Carter-Finley aspect) and make it look more like a part of our Campus. There are many variables and it would be smart to start thinking about them.



    BTW, I’m sitting here watching UK-UNC. They keep on flashing the Jimmy V charity logo across the screen in light blue. It’s making me cringe. All these young kids watching that know JACK about history probably think he coached there. Jeez. Thanks ESPN!



    agreed. there was nothing like walking over from dorm or the apartment on Hillsborough to go to a game in the old barn on a cold February night. it was hot and rockin. I was fortunate to have been a student in ’83. unfortunately after another 10 years passes west Raleigh will have evolved again. it may be impossible to move our basketball facility back on campus. I’m grateful I was able to take my son(a new NCSU alum) to games there in the 90′s. I wish my daughter(just accepted) had the experience.



    Just curious…..when the future comes (eg 2025) and we do decide to build an on campus facility, would there be any possibility of building a new arena at the site of the current reynolds or would the foot print be too small? There is the parking lot next to Reynolds, but not sure if the building would also have encroach the Reynolds deck.

    I’d assume the space is too small and we’d have to look at Centennial, but it would be a nice way of honoring Reynolds.



    I enjoyed my visits to Reynolds, but with the congestion there. I am okay with PNC, lots of space, no congestion, and next to Carter Finley where students are transported to the games and show up, why should basketball be different. And with performances like we just had against a miserable Detroit team. I would rather stay at the PNC, and can’t see why the hurricanes would want to move downtown, with all the limited space and traffic. So for me PNC in fine. But if we must build an NC State only arena, the Centennial Campus does seem to have more land to accommodate such a facility, and could reduce traffic congestion, as in a downtown site.



    I think State will eventually be left by themselves in the PNC when the Hurricanes move to another city or fold. When this happens, and I believe it will, it will be time to downsize and get a more user-friendly facility for basketball.

    Downtown Raleigh would be the WORST scenario, period. If you think parking at the PNC is expensive now, just let Downtown Raleigh get hold of it.

    Had the ESA been built in Downtown Raleigh instead of the State Fairgrounds, I would never have purchased LTRs. The city gurus of Raleigh have already gotten the July 4 fireworks away from the Fairgrounds and moved ‘em to Downtown Raleigh. How’s THAT one working out?



    The next basketball arena needs to be on campus. I loved my time in Reynolds. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.



    I’d like a quiet, intimate week in the tropics with Emily Haines.

    Yes, I did have to use google to find out who this is.


    Deacon Blues

    If we do play a conf game in Reynolds it needs to be the holes. IIRC they are the only team we have a losing record to between those hallowed walls. And it is only by two games, I think. I was there for our last time playing them there, a loss. A win would have at lest tied the series. Bring ‘em in till we can at least get back to even! Will never happen, will lose too many ticket sales, but it pains me to have that record against those F*%#s.



    “Yes, I did have to use google to find out who this is.”

    Me, too, but I’m glad I did.

    I understand the challenges associated with staging such a game in the old barn, but the environment and experience were singular. It’s worth some hard work to make it happen.



    OK, I tried. I fired off an email to the WPC and the Athletic Department. My sneaky plan to have some subterfuge about the PNC being unavailable on 20-Jan-14 and play MD at Reynolds.
    A little tongue in cheek, but I got a realistic answer.
    First…11,000 season ticket holders and 4,000 students (tickets paid for by fees) equals 15,000 bodies and only 9,000 seats. If any of you attended the game on Saturday night and watched the half-time musical chairs….you get the picture.
    Second…shortfall of revenue around $250,000. I had volunteered already to pay a surcharge…
    Third….Contractual Obligation. We have to play 15 games in the PNC.
    SO, being the person that does NOT accept NO, I fired back a quick note….in jest, which was taken TOTALLY out of context. I expected a ROFLMAO in the email….NADA.
    I guess that suggesting that the season ticket holders with LTR’s that do not always faithfully attend could watch the game from the PNC JumboTron as they do many of our games at home was almost like finding the floating feces in the donor’s banquet punch bowl…
    My comment about paying the surcharge of $30 or so for a Reynolds pass and also a bit more for the Johnny Swofford “Fine” and the litigation costs for “Breach of Contract” were also a bit over the top.
    Really did not mean for it to be REALISTIC….only humorous… much for THAT idea.
    SO, it would seem that it is impossible to tell the folks that have much higher deductions for their WPC dues on their 1040’s than I do that they are NOT going HOME…
    Reporters and columnists and coaches can make “fantasy” comments….but the folk that might have to implement them recognize the reality of the situation.
    It IS interesting to speculate….that is having a Plan B and not FANTASIZING…on what might happen if the Hurricanes are “blown out of town”….it has happened once before…and the Raleigh market does not seem capable of supporting a Pro franchise….
    The Centennial Campus idea has a lot of merit….
    I can’t recall if Jimmy V wanted the arena to be THAT big. Mikey just sits back and chuckles….
    BUT, going to the game last Saturday night with DW and GK’s was totally priceless, even though we were NOT playing Maryland….



    I know numerous D-1 b-ball coaches and every time we have a coaching search I ask them when coaches look at our job what are the negatives and each one would say top 3 would be off campus facility.



    I saw games at Reynolds AND I like The Arena (currently PNC). It was two different experiences for sure. But the parking and concessions couldn’t be any better. Having small kids, getting them to the bathroom at the drop of a hat with no lines and TVs along the way couldn’t be better. I can run out and get a popcorn during a timeout — it’s awesome. I think the real complaints are ppl who sit on unused tickets. That isn’t the arena’s fault though and could be fixed with better operating procedures. I thoroughly enjoy the current location but think that they should focus on filling up the seats from the bottom up maybe by making the lowest seats more “general admission”. I guarantee I could come up with three workable courses of action in a day if I ran the WPC. If they focused on increasing the fan experience over straight revenue then the revenue would follow and they’d have both.

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