University of Minnesota, Williams arena - Sports pavillion / Memorial stadium / Mariucci arena - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Ballparks, Arenas and Stadiums > University of Minnesota, Williams arena - Sports pavillion / Memorial stadium / Mariucci arena - Minneapolis, Minnesota
MUSIC - Ain't talkin about love by Van Halen

Disclaimer - Photos without my red watermark are not mine, they are from the internet and are NOT FOR SALE.

Williams Arena - Opened in 1928 and still in use. Known as the Minnesota Field House 1928 - 1950, Williams Arena 1950 - present. Location - 1925 Southeast University Ave. Minneapolis, Minnesota. On the campus of the University of Minnesota.

The Sports Pavilion is the western half of Williams Arena, which housed the men's hockey team until 1993.

Memorial Stadium - Opened in 1924, closed in 1981 and finally demolished in 1992. The Aquatic Center and McNamara Alumni Center now stand on the site. Location - The NE corner of SE Oak St. and University Ave. SE Minneapolis, Minnesota. Memorial Stadium was right across the street from Williams Arena.

Mariucci Arena - Opened in 1993 and is still in use. Location - 1901 4th St. SE Minneapolis, Minnesota. Just north of Williams Arena.


Just across the Mississippi River from downtown Minneapolis is the sprawling campus of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Located at the corner of University Ave. SE and Oak St. SE is the Williams arena. The arena was opened in 1928 and was dedicated as the University of Minnesota field house. Williams Arena has a unique touch to it. The court is raised about 2 feet above the floor surface. That means the teams' benches, and officials tables are actually below the court. The building was remodeled in 1950 and renamed in honor of longtime U of M football coach, Dr. Henry Williams. The building was then divided into two separate buildings, with the basketball arena at the East end, and the hockey arena at the West side. Following the 1992 season, Williams arena began a 2 year rehab. New locker rooms, weight rooms, training room and meeting rooms were completed. Also, the Williams arena club was added to the third floor. The club seats 200 and can overlook the basketball court. In 1997, 21 barn type lofts were added above the second deck. Williams arena is now 80 years old, but shows no signs of slowing down. The arena has a barn like quality with a huge hint of a gym feel. It is the way college sports should be.

At the West end of Williams arena is the sports pavilion. Up until 1993, it was known as Mariucci arena, and the home for Golden Gopher hockey. After the NEW Mariucci arena was completed, hockey moved across the street. The arena was remodeled and renamed in 1994. It is now home to the U of M volleyball teams as well as the gymnastics teams of both the men and women. It was quickly recognized as one of the finest facilities in the country. It has also become the home for the powerful U of M wrestling teams. So for the price of one building, you now have two arenas under one roof. Very unusual indeed, but it really works well for the University.

Just to the south of Williams arena and directly across University Avenue was the site of the old Memorial stadium. It was the home for golden gopher football for 57 years. The stadium, affectionately known as the BRICK HOUSE, was opened on October 14, 1924, when the Gophers defeated North Dakota 14-0. The stadium was a haven for football hungry fans on crisp fall afternoons. The U of M had a decision to make. The new Metrodome was opening in 1981, and the university had to decide between refurbishing the old stadium or moving downtown. Unfortunately, they moved downtown. The final hurrah for the Gophers football team happened at the last home game in 1981. On November 21, 1981, the Gophers defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes 35-31 to cap a 57 year run at the brick house. The stadium was also the track facility for the U of M. In 1969, due to a conflict with the Minnesota Twins at Metropolitan stadium, the Minnesota Vikings had a home game at the brick house. On October 5th of that year, the Vikings defeated the Green Bay Packers 19-7 at memorial stadium. After the final game in 1982, the brick house lay dormant for 10 years before it was finally demolished in 1992. The university aquatic center, home of the swimming and diving teams, now sits on the site. On a footnote, in 2006 the Minnesota State legislature passed a bill for a new stadium on campus. The new stadium (to be known as TCF bank stadium) will open in 2009 and is being built across the street from both Williams arena and Mariucci. It is just a couple of blocks east from where the old brick house stood.

Finally we come to the state of the art Mariucci arena. The arena is directly across the street on the North side of Williams arena. Opened in 1993, it has been the wonderful home for many successful golden gopher hockey teams. The women's hockey team has called this arena home from 1997 thru 2002 before moving into a smaller on campus venue called Ridder arena. The ice surface at Mariucci is Olympic size, measuring 100 feet by 200 feet. The arena has hosted the women's frozen four twice, first being in 2001 and the last time in 2006. In 2007, Sports Illustrated on campus named Mariucci one of the top 10 venues in all of college sports. It was the only hockey arena to make the list.

The University of Minnesota has a taste of the old and a taste of the new in venues. They have a rich tradition of sporting excellence. I just wish they would have saved the old brick house for football. It would have been perfect.
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The exterior of Williams arena from University and Oak street. 10/87


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Fast forward 13 years. The front of Williams arena. 8/2000


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Home of the Golden Gophers basketball teams. 10/87


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An aerial view of Memorial stadium. Just to the right of the stadium is Williams arena, Photo from internet, date unknown.


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Here is a shot of the arena. You can see how the court is raised above the floor. 8/00


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A great view of the raised court. 8/00


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Excuse the blurry photo, but it shows the corridor between Williams arena, and the then Mariucci arena. 10/87


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The side entrance to Williams arena off University. 10/87


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Mariucci ice arena circa 1987. 10/87


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The broadcast booth in the old Mariucci arena. 10/87


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A view of the windows at the west end of Mariucci. 10/87


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Center ice at Mariucci, very cozy and LOUD for U of M hockey. Translation, INTIMIDATING for the opposing teams. 10/87


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The transformed sports pavillion. Gone is the hockey arena and in its place is the home for Golden Gopher volleyball, wrestling and gymnastics. 10/00


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Photo from internet, date unknown.


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Another shot of the arena. Photo from internet, date unknown.


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Photo from internet, date unknown.


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The brand new Mariucci arena. Built for Gophers hockey, it sits right across the street from Williams arena 8/2000.


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Inside the new Mariucci arena. Photo from internet, date unknown.


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Memorial stadium, aka the brick house, sits abandoned, waiting for the inevitable wreckers ball. The press box has been removed at the top of the stadium. 10/87


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The tunnel type entrance of the old brick house. The Williams arena roof is visible in the background. 10/87


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How many Golden Gopher greats trampled this gridiron. 10/87


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an aerial view of the stadium and Williams arena. Photo from internet, date unknown.


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The view from the east end zone. The building in the distance is the University recreation center, still in use today. 10/87


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Another aerial of the stadium. Just across the street from Williams arena is the site of where the Mariucci center will be eventually built. Photo from internet, date unknown.


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Senator Hubert H. Humphrey. Photo from internet, date unknown.


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Photo from internet, date unknown.


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Inside the pressbox at Memorial Stadium. Photo from internet, date unknown.


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The old scoreboard on top of the University recreation center. 3/87


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U of M football in the brick house. photo from internet, date unknown.


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The north stands. You can see at the top where the wood is. That is where one of the old press boxes was located. The Williams arena is in view at the top of the stadium. 3/87


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The north side of Memorial stadium. This shot is from the corner of University and Oak street. 10/87


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Photo from internet, date unknown


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Photo from internet, date unknown


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Artist rendering of the new TCF bank stadium. Photo from internet, date unknown.


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These next 8 photos of TFC stadium were donated to me by my friend Stephen Jester. Thanks Stephen for your contribution.....


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The site of the old football stadium in 2000. It is now the university aquatic center. 8/2000