Want to see the new Thrillerdome?

An aerial view of Hank McCamish Pavilion

An aerial view of Hank McCamish Pavilion

Georgia Tech unveiled the look of the new $45-million Thrillerdome on Tuesday.

What was Alexander Memorial Coliseum will soon be Hank McCamish Pavilion, named for Hank McCamish who donated $15 million toward the construction of the new home of the Yellow Jackets’ men’s and women’s basketball teams. The Board of Regents approved the project, as well as the construction of the indoor football facility, last week.

Athletics director Dan Radakovich said they hope to break ground on McCamish in the spring of next year and move in during the fall of 2012. Philips Arena and/or Gwinnett Arena may be the teams’ home for the 2011 season. Radakovich said they hope to announce that within the next four months.

The McCamish Pavilion, which will have a seating capacity of 8,900, was designed from the inside out, according to Radakovich, with the idea to enhance the spectators’ experiences. AMC seats 9,191.

The main entrance will be at the corner of 10th and Fowler Streets.

The main entrance will be at the corner of 10th and Fowler Streets.

One of the notable improvements will be a broad main entrance at the corner of 10th and Fowler Streets that Radakovich said will give the building curb appeal. There will be two more entrances, one for students farther up Fowler Street and another exclusive entrance for donors located behind the building where the parking lot is located.

Note the wide, open concourses.

Note the wide, open concourses.

When fans enter the building, they will walk in a large, open concourse that stretches 270 degrees around the court, which will be visible. Radakovich said that openness was an important asset, noting that the closed-off concourse design of AMC can make it difficult to know where you are in relation to the court.

“You’ll know you are in the basketball arena,” Radakovich said.

There will be no suites in the arena. When considering that feature, Radakovich said it was decided that suites were not necessary because of the shortness of the basketball season and that this will be a basketball-only facility. He said there are numerous other places in the city that host concerts and other events. He also noted that with the exception of multi-purpose units that some ACC teams use, few other collegiate basketball arenas have suites.

Patrons of the club will seat in the gold seats across from the benches.

Patrons of the club will seat in the gold seats across from the benches.

Instead, McCamish will feature a club that will feature two different seating areas. One area, containing approximately 500 seats, is exclusive for certain donors who have access to the exclusive entrance behind the building. The other exclusive area has 300 seats. The 270-degree concourse actually stops at either end where the 500-seat area starts. That area is located across from the benches.

Most of the seats will be chair-back and there will be an upper deck that has 1,800 seats. The student section will be behind the baskets, very close to Bobby Cremins court.

The decision to rename the building was made because Radakovich said the makeover is so extreme, “the only thing that’s missing is Ty Pennington and that crew.”

Instead, there will be an outdoor courtyard to honor William Alexander, complete with a bust of him and a list of the basketball teams’ notable accomplishments.  Alexander was Tech’s third athletics director and football coach from 1920-1944.

What do you think about the name of Georgia Tech's basketball arena changing from Alexander Memorial Coliseum to Hank McCamish Pavilion?

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The cost of keeping up AMC was becoming almost punitive. Radakovich said that unfunded maintenance costs for the next 8-12 years were estimated at $15-18 million. AMC was dedicated in 1956 and cost $1.6 million to build. It has undergone several renovations, including a $13 million project that was completed in 1996.

141 comments Add your comment

wesleywhatwhat

October 19th, 2010
1:30 pm

i can’t believe they are dropping the “alexander memorial coliseum” name.

bad idea.

GTJeff

October 19th, 2010
1:31 pm

Who friggin cares? Wait til Football season is over to talk about bb.

calvin

October 19th, 2010
1:32 pm

They’re REDUCING the seating capacity by 291. Madness.

CarolinaJacket

October 19th, 2010
1:32 pm

I hope to get over and see this great facility when it it here.

LizellaJacket

October 19th, 2010
1:35 pm

Looks awesome.

Dawglasville

October 19th, 2010
1:41 pm

I wish we could report the same news. Alas, it is just a dream. Congrats.

juvenal

October 19th, 2010
1:41 pm

Doug, why fewer seats? you agree?

Fire paul

October 19th, 2010
1:46 pm

Now we just need to get a new coach to go with it or this will be worthless since no one will buy tickets to go see it.

Doug Roberson

October 19th, 2010
1:46 pm

Bigger concourses likely resulted in fewer seats. The seating is an approximation. It could change.

CharlotteJacket

October 19th, 2010
1:47 pm

Maybe we can use this opportunity to call it Hank McCamish Pavilion at Historic Alexander Court and finally remove the name of an active coach at another school from our floor.

I like and respect Cremins as much as any Tech basketball fan (and I don’t think the honor was out of line when he was working the TV booth), but there is a potential for us to host an NIT game or some other pairing against the College of Charleston, and that would be awkward.

And now that the McDonald’s logos are gone, we’re down to just two different shades of gold on the floor. One more to go, guys.

Stanley in Marietta

October 19th, 2010
1:49 pm

Will GTAA sell or auction the old chairback seats?

ManUp...

October 19th, 2010
1:53 pm

Everything about this is good. That whole area will eventually become an extension of campus, so a plaza and and better look to that side of the building is great. Also, fewer and higher-quality seats will be an improvement if anything. I doubt they’ll build it without the ability to expand in the future. It’s probabaly taking seats from low-visibility areas higher up in the current design and making sure the seats that we have are close to the court and good enough that people want to pay for the tickets. This can help drive up ticket prices if the place sells out more often.

Gotta love donors! That’s two bigg’uns just this Fall! New football practice facility and new bball complex. It’s great to be a Yellow Jacket!

Let the jealousy begin in 3, 2, 1….

Doug Roberson

October 19th, 2010
1:59 pm

As of two weeks ago, an auction hadn’t been decided

juvenal

October 19th, 2010
1:59 pm

how about Alexander Memorial Campus?…still, they changed the names of a church & hospital in memory of a fellow long gone hereabouts(tho’ he had a lot to do with their founding) & the local wag figured that family wasn’t as important anymore…

kennyh

October 19th, 2010
2:01 pm

aleander was a football coach.. why was a basketball gym named for him… I’d rather have it named after whack hyder or dewayne morrison..anyway

LET'S GO JACKETS

October 19th, 2010
2:05 pm

it is awesome, DRAD has done a great job working with alumni, otherwise doubt if we would have seen such a donation. Got a feeling the team is going to play like the dome they are playing in, despite criticism and negativity, this team will is going to be sucessful…GO JACKETS

Paul has a small Johnson

October 19th, 2010
2:07 pm

HAHA GT football so bad you guys are talking BB.ACC school=bb school.The joke by Coke HAHAHA

GTBob

October 19th, 2010
2:20 pm

Looks nice. I can’t wait to watch games there. 2011 is going to be a long year though. Hopefully games are at Philips Arena.

reebok

October 19th, 2010
2:21 pm

nice facility, but if hewitt is still the coach, who cares?

Nancy in Cedartown

October 19th, 2010
2:23 pm

The money would be better spent in buying out Hewitt’s contract and giving that jerk a one-way ticket out of town.

Marisa

October 19th, 2010
2:26 pm

The new dome should be named after Whack Hyder. He is to Tech basketball as Bobby Dodd is to Tech Football.

saban

October 19th, 2010
2:27 pm

Send Hewitt to Alabama.

He can be my defensive coach.

ManUp...

October 19th, 2010
2:31 pm

Sorry, CPJ hater, why does discussion/celebration of a gigantic monetary donation to our basketball program make us any less fond of football? We’re all aware of our massive rivalry game lineup in the coming weeks. We’re not ignoring Clemson, VT, Miami, lil’dook, and U(sic)GA. We just have something else to feel good about IN ADDITION to looking forward to big wins in football!

Great to be a Yellow Jacket!

Biff Pocoroba

October 19th, 2010
2:32 pm

We should bid out the name of the dome and change it every year in honor of Hewitt since he loves the one and dones.

WreckIt

October 19th, 2010
2:51 pm

Who cares if it’s still called AMC? That sounds like the movie chain anyway. It will always be the ThrillerDome or the Big *it to me!

BuzzGT

October 19th, 2010
2:58 pm

Looks great. I can’t wait to see a game there. They also released the designs of the new indoor football facility. It is scheduled to open in July 2011.

wesleywhatwhat

October 19th, 2010
3:07 pm

doug, why haven’t u banned “Paul has a small Johnson” from posting yet?

Always a Jacket

October 19th, 2010
3:08 pm

Could have reduced seating by a few thousand. I guess they kept them for the lady jackets or the eternal hope that Hewitt will eventually go to St Johns. Suggest naming the expanded entrance/exit after Hewitt as it assist the fans rush for the exits. The new entrance/exit on Fowler will help the students get back to studying quicker.

RamblinRed

October 19th, 2010
3:11 pm

Really nice job of getting this funded and done. it is even more extensive than I thought it would be. They are basically keeping just the domw from the old AMC and everything else will be new. Also, getting the new indoor practice facility at the same time was well done by the AD.

Having a new basketball practice facility that opened last year and a new arena in the next 2 yrs is really going to give GT some of the nicest facilities around.

Um, OK

October 19th, 2010
3:26 pm

This will cost $45 million. Earlier reports say the donor gave $15 million. Guess DRad is personally paying the difference?

GTHD

October 19th, 2010
3:27 pm

Ok we are changing the official name but we all know what its really called. It’s the tit. But why lower the seating capacity they already screw over the students who want to go to the game.

buzz

October 19th, 2010
3:27 pm

You are out of your freaking mind if you think that:

A) Hewitt will be the coach when this facility opens

B) That Cremins doesn’t deserve his name on the court. How soon they forget the pre 1980 history of GT basketball.

rturner381

October 19th, 2010
3:34 pm

hhhmmm?!?!? Basketball RICH A-C-C and Tech is SHRINKING the seating capacity. I do not understand.

GT76

October 19th, 2010
3:36 pm

Not worried about the seating capacity. It will be good for many years to come.

I guess the Alexander family could pony up $15 mill to keep there name associated with it. Unfortunately only $$$ talks. Someday someone will pay $10 mill to have the court named after them and then Cremins will be history! SAD!

Rockdale Jacket

October 19th, 2010
3:54 pm

Shrinking seating capacity while spending that kind of money as absurb.
Can only mean one thing…..GT does not intend to grow its basketball fan base. Why not make the capacity at least a respectable 12,000 and try to build a winning program that is more competitive in the ACC and goes
to the NCAA on a regular basis?

Douglas C. Neidermayer

October 19th, 2010
3:56 pm

I prefer McCamish Pavilion to McDonald’s center or whatever they called it. That was pretty lame.

CharlotteJacket

October 19th, 2010
3:57 pm

buzz, I don’t disagree that Cremins deserves our respect and gratitude for putting this basketball program back on the map, but you don’t see Calipari’s name on the floor at UMass (a school that might not have been on TV since he left), Calipari’s name at Memphis (well, maybe that one is easier), Pitino’s name at Providence, Roy Williams’s name at Kansas, Knight’s name at Indiana, or any other former coach who is actively coaching at another school. It was fine when he was a commentator, but not while he’s coaching elsewhere.

Biff Pocoroba

October 19th, 2010
3:59 pm

When do students go to games? They don’t show up in November and December. They don’t go to games on Sunday or early Saturday afternoons. Most of the time, the extra student tickets are sold at the gate. They only show up for Duke and UNC and even then, there is a lot of blue in the student section. DRad is begging people to buy tickets now so there will be plenty of seats open this year thanks to Mrs Hewitt making her husband stay.

CharlotteJacket

October 19th, 2010
4:04 pm

The best ticket in college basketball is to an arena with 9,314 seats that was reduced from a capacity of 12,000 in 1988. That team has won the ACC tournament, what, 10 straight times and is the reigning national champion. I am no dook fan, but clearly arena size is not a predictor of success (see Virginia, University of)

the real Old Gold

October 19th, 2010
4:16 pm

I say we get a new (post 1988) video board on the Interstate to represent the Institute. That thing is an embarrassment and is seen by tens of millions of people a year.

RamblinWreck2011

October 19th, 2010
4:16 pm

How about Paul Hewitt Court???? Any takers?? LOL.

ozzfest

October 19th, 2010
4:22 pm

I am a GEORGIA BULLDOG…and killing off “Alexander” is a shame. If I were that Hank dude, I would not allow that to happen.

I guess the man needs to be a “celebrity”. Perhaps he can get a reality show out of it….

Buzz Light Presents Real Jackets of Genius

October 19th, 2010
4:24 pm

Burdell

October 19th, 2010
4:25 pm

That video board does not “represent” the Institute…give me a break.

Burdell

October 19th, 2010
4:27 pm

I agree ozzfest…and bravo for actually spelling your team’s mascot’s name properly.

Joshua Barlowe

October 19th, 2010
4:30 pm

Doesn’t make sense to have Alexander name on the basketball court when he was the football coach. If you goons want to pony up $15 mill you can name it whatever you want – that’s what Hank did.

aztec

October 19th, 2010
4:38 pm

i cant understand why any new contruction would not include more seats instead of less, that’s going backward as far as i am concerned

Doug Roberson

October 19th, 2010
4:46 pm

Aztec, if you remember tech didn’t have many sellouts last season. I’m not sure more seats are needed.

Jackets2010

October 19th, 2010
4:54 pm

I’ve said this a number of times. If you want to buy out Hewitt’s contract, come up with the money yourselves. It seems clear to me Tech’s multi-millionaires do not want their money spent that way.
And since McCamish is paying 15 million, I haven’t the slightest problem with naming the building after him. Lots of you want to spend other people’s money.
Not going to happen.

Jackets2010

October 19th, 2010
4:56 pm

Maybe Tech is saying they prefer a solid core of fans and don’t need the bandwagon types who can take or leave us.