When it opened in 1965, UVA’s University Hall—home to men’s and women’s basketball, among other things—was state-of-the-art. The arena could seat up to 9,000 in various formations for athletics events, concerts, even movies. Its distinctive circular shape was a popular layout for facilities of the type at the time, but it was the design’s complex engineering and construction that made it noteworthy. Thirty-two precast rib arches—each 52 tons and 115 feet in length—make up the building’s structure, which necessitated the use of two separate cranes to tag-team the job of lifting each rib into place. The building’s dome, rising 90 feet above the floor, is supporting by a staggering 106 miles of wire in a custom tension ring to keep the roof’s shells (weighing anywhere from 2,800 to 21,000 pounds each) from moving. The building was joined by a 22,400-SF annex building dubbed The Cage, which housed practice facilities for various athletics programs.
University Hall remained home to UVA basketball until the end of the 2005-06 season. Today, it houses athletics department offices and locker rooms for many of the University’s intercollegiate athletics teams, and continues to serve practice facility and site for special events.