Backstory and Context
Stegeman Coliseum was built in 1964, it was formally named Georgia Coliseum until it was renamed in 1996 in honor of Coach Herman James Stegeman for his many contributions to athletics at The University of Georgia from 1919-1939. Coach Herman James Stegeman contributed to athletics at UGA by being the Head Coach in Football, Basketball, Baseball, and Track & Field and eventually the Athletic Director. Originally the building Stegeman Hall was named after him, but it was tore down after the completion of the Ramsey Student Center, the spacing help to accommodate the 1996 Olympics. Stegeman Coliseum was built at a cost of $4.2 million to originally accommodate basketball, commencement ceremonies, and agriculture, but would eventually have six additional sports compete inside the Coliseum.
Stegeman Coliseum had a capacity of 11,200 from 1964-1988, 10,400 from 1988-1994, and now holds 10,523 since 1994. It has had multiple renovations throughout the years, while most notably the $20 million spent in the past 11 years. In 2010, The Coliseum had a $13-million renovation, which involved Stegeman’s concourses, enhancing the spectators access to the concessions and restrooms, upgraded graphics, and adding 5,000-square feet of concourse space on each side of the arena. Because of this renovation, it won awards from the American Institute of Architects and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.
The Coliseum’s first game was on February 22, 1964 where the Men’s Basketball team played against Georgia Tech, in front of the largest crowd in the Coliseum’s history, where they upset the Yellow Jackets 81-68. Since the Stegeman Coliseum has opened, it has had seven sports compete inside the Coliseum such as; Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Men’s and Women’s Gymnastics, Volleyball, Wrestling, and Men’s Tennis. It has also held numerous indoor rock concerts with one notable performance by Elton John, who performed in front of a sold-out crowd where he closed by performing a popular game day anthem for UGA’s Football team, the song “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting”.
A few of the biggest events that have happen in Stegeman Coliseum are the Women’s Gymnastic Championship, the Olympics in 1996, and the Great Southland Stampede Rodeo. The Coliseum hosted the Women’s Gymnastics Championship on four occasions, in 1989, 1995, 2001, and 2008. They have won the National Championship 10 times in their history, winning it twice at the Coliseum, first in 1989 and then as recent as 2008. In 1996, the state of Georgia hosted the Summer Olympics and Stegeman Coliseum hosted two events: Rhythmic Gymnastics and Preliminary Volleyball to accommodate these events they finally installed an air conditioning unit, which would lead to a huge problem for one of the longest running events in the Coliseum, the Great Southland Stampede Rodeo. The Rodeo was held at the Coliseum every April from 1972-2003. Once the Coliseum had the air conditioning unit installed, it caused problems for the Rodeo, because of the dust being detrimental to the air conditioning and electronics. Stegeman Coliseum is now home to the Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Women’s Gymnastics, and Volleyball, as they all compete in the indoor stadium
Stegeman Coliseum marks 50th anniversary season. February 11, 2013. . https://news.uga.edu/stegeman-coliseum-marks-50th-anniversary-season/.
August 28, 2017. . http://georgiadogs.com/news/2017/9/28/mens-basketball-georgia-unveils-renovated-stegeman-coliseum.aspx.
Miller, Kristin. Top-10 moments in Stegeman Coliseum history. November 15, 2012. . https://www.redandblack.com/sports/top--moments-in-stegeman-coliseum-history/article_d6d07c5e-2e89-11e2-bdb2-0019bb30f31a.html.
. . http://georgiadogs.com/sports/2017/6/16/stegeman-coliseum-gym.aspx.