Hec Edmundsun is old. Not the coach, mind you, but the 10,000 seat arena named in his honor (and since then remonikered with the corporate logos of both Bank of America and Alaska Airlines). In fact, few people realize that Hec Ed is so old that it is the "winningnest arena" in all of college basketball.
Yup. That's right. Let that sink in for a moment. More wins for their home team have occurred in Hec Ed than any other arena anywhere in the country.
Given that UW isn't exactly Duke, we can presume the implication is that's an accomplishment.
Thus, the facelift that was unveiled yesterday should be no surprise to anybody. The update is a move that is consistent with the Athletic Department's strategy to refresh and revitalize the Husky brand for the general Seattle audience while maintaining the buzz that alums and students are already experiencing. It is also a reminder to recruits of the indelible connection between Montlake and the Emerald City - a connection between a big city and a college that is more intimate than what most urban colleges enjoy (think USC or Cal in that regard). Not unlike the recent updates to the arena floor in Eugue, the new design features a two-tone wood coloring scheme and a silhouetting of locally inspired imaging. However, instead of an overwhelming end-to-end vomitous abomination that few people can actually comprehend, the UW designers opted to screen on an eloquent and crisp image of the Seattle skyline. The image spans baseline to baseline on one side of the court but never encroaches further than about a third of the way into the floor. The highest point of the image is the replica of the Space Needle which appears to be a good two or three feet off of the bottom of the "W" that sits at center court.
Reactions from UW fans on Twitter have been overwhelmingly positive.
The new UW court looks dope!— CJ Wilcox (@UCjwilcox23W) May 1, 2014
The new court is finished... #DubsUp pic.twitter.com/w5LQmpWTdA— T.J. Otzelberger (@coachotz) May 1, 2014
@UWAthletics @AlaskaAir Looks fantastic! Looking forward to the upcoming season!— Space Needle (@space_needle) May 1, 2014
Alaska Airlines Arena is looking pretty awesome. pic.twitter.com/8eOXBYm61P— Erik Erickson (@Erik_Erickson) May 1, 2014
Some Oregon fans have taken exception to what they perceive as a blatant rip-off of their marketing strategy.
history repeating itself. UW copied our stadium, uniforms, offense and now BBall court! Only after bashing them!— Ryan Sotelo (@RyBond007) May 1, 2014
I actually like the UW court. It's fresh and clean. Just interesting how Oregon fans were skeptical at first. Now everyone's doing it.— Matt Prehm (@Prehmmr247) May 1, 2014
UW’s MO: Step 1) complain about what UO does Step 2) Do it MT @LarsHanson: The court on Alaskan Airlines Arena pic.twitter.com/j4BY7eaGxB— Matthew (@GeauxDucks) May 1, 2014
Since the huskies are copycats, how long until one steals imitation crab?— Autzen Students (@AutzenStudents) May 1, 2014
While the updating of the UW basketball floor is a welcome sight amongst UW fans who have long criticized the UW administration for not doing enough to enrich the gameday experience for the casual Seattle fan who may not have a strong connection to the school, the truth is that the best thing for the arena would be the upgrading of not just the look and feel of the arena but also of the roster. Lorenzo Romar and club have preached patience as they've attempted to overhaul a roster that has been left high and dry at the altar by several elite recruits over the past few recruiting cycles. The emergence of several prominent national-level recruits in the Seattle area has sparked some hope that the Huskies will soon have an updated club whose game can match the new sizzle of their home court.
Oh, and it just so happens to be time to re-up for your season tickets. I'm sure that's just coincidence.