The Tad Pad
Wichita State's Former Coliseum
Wichita State's New Look
First of all I want to start this by saying the pictures above do not do justice, but they are the best I could find and you can go to http://www.goshockers.com/koch.aspx
to read more about the Wichita State transformation.
C.M. "Tad" Smith Coliseum was opened in 1966(trivia note, it's original name was Rebel Coliseum). Affectionately known as the "Tad Pad", the coliseum has been the victim of abuse lately on the message boards. Ole Miss fans believe the Tap Pad is an eyesore and are calling for a renovation/new arena. The Coliseum underwent a renovation in the summer of 2001. The new video board(awful resolution), cushioned seats, painted exterior roof, and a redone floor were added that summer. Since then construction of coaches offices on the back side of the coliseum and the renovation of men's and women's lockerrooms have taken place. Even after all that work was done the Tad Pad is still an awful place. I would be willing to bet the lighting and interior paint was not been changed since its original completion in 1966.
An article appeared in the Birmingham News last Thursday explaining Auburn's plan to renovate or build a new coliseum. In this article it explained how Vandy, Ole Miss, and Auburn were the oldest gyms. With Auburn and Ole Miss being the only ones without a major renovation.
Folks, we are behind on this issue. The basketball program deserves a renovated facility. I believe the number of seats we have now are fine. I do not think we should go to much higher, personally I like the small arena's compared to the huge ones. What needs to be done is what you see in the above pictures. Wichita State took their coliseum which looked similar to ours and basically gutted the outside and redid the entire entrance, concourse, bathrooms, study facility and added a Rebel club type atmosphere. The renovation at Wichita State had a price tag of $25 million. I believe ours can be done for a little cheaper since we would not be constructing a new academic facility on the side of ours. However we could make it more expensive by adding on a practice arena, which many including Carol Ross would like to have. Imagine coming into a concourse like the FedEx Forum where you can see the basketball practice facility right as you walk in.
I do not believe we need to build a new one. We have invested too much money over the past 5 years with the small renovations we did to just let them go to waste. Second of all, where are you going to put a new one, I like our arena right where it is. Also, as stated earlier the size is perfect we do not need new seats.
So, when does this need to happen. In my opinion it should be the next on the list. I understand we are not good in basketball, but I guarantee you a renovated arena sure would help. A renovated arena I think would add new life in the basketball program. If and when we go after a new coach, someone that has never been to Oxford is going to laugh when they visit for an interview. We are going to have to promise the next coach a renovated arena.
I want to hear your thoughts: Build a New One, Renovate, or Do Nothing???