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RACC/SEFCU Arena History


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Hi was looking on the AE board and was looking at the new arena for UMBC. Impressive if you haven't seen it. So got me thinking how did SEFCU arena come about. Aside from Doc, who was the president, positions, backstory etc that got the building built? Given we were D3 at the time seems like an impressive accomplishment. Anyone who was around during this time I would love to hear the story.

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H Patrick Swygert was president when the RACC opened in late 1991, but Vincent O'Leary had been in charge when construction started. The U had just outgrown the PE building, esp for student fitness use. At the same time there was a study to go D-I for MBB, track and wrestling but before it was finished the NCAA added the Dayton Rule. We didn't want to drop football and they didn't think about nonscholarship FB so the move was postponed until we started the process in '94-95.

There were no message boards then, and the ASPs from that era aren't online, so unless you personally knew someone from the Athletic Dept all anybody got was rumors

Edited by UAalum72
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July 22--Recreation and Convocation Center (RACC) opens for the Empire State Games. The first UAlbany teams to use the RACC in intercollegiate play were men's and women's basketball which on December 2nd defeated their opponents (Danes vs. Castleton 77-55; Lady Danes vs. William Smith 97-91) The RACC contains 93,000 sq. ft. of space, 4,800 seats, and has basketball, racketball, squash, handball courts,long jump and pole vaulting areas, a .11 mile indoor track, high-tech training rooms including an aerobics exercise a weight room, and whirlpool and injury training equipment room. Built for $11,750,000. The architects are the firm of Mesick, Cohen and Waite of Albany and the general contractor is U.W. Marx. (Lisa James, “News & Notes,” Albany Magazine, Fall 1991, p. 25; Elaine Blakeman, “New Construction on Campus,” Update, Nov. 7, 1990, p. [2]; Update Special Empire State Games Issue, July 1992, p. [1]; "Albany hoops christen the RACC," Robert W. Brunnell, III, " Lady Danes beat vengful Williams Smith in two OTs, and Patrick Cullen, "Danes pummel Castleton behind Graber's 30points," Albany Student Press, December 4, 1992, both Sports Supplement, p. 3; Birr, pp. 180-81)

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I would have to say the plan was flawed as the track is not big enough to run a collegiate indoor meet. Concession areas were non existent. The parking lot has no direct access. So instead of doin thing right, we have to do it over.

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