American Football Database
American Football Database

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Cole Field House
Former namesStudent Activities Building (1955–1956)
Location4095 Union Line
College Park, Maryland, U.S.
OwnerUniversity of Maryland
OperatorUniversity of Maryland
OpenedDecember 2, 1955
65 years ago
Construction cost$3.3 million
($27.1 million in 2021 [1]);
$196 million (renovation)[2]
ArchitectCannonDesign (renovation)
Maryland Terrapins (NCAA) (1955–2002)
Capital Bullets (NBA) (1973)
Maryland Maniacs (IFL) (2010)

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The William P. Cole, Jr. Student Activities Building, commonly known as Cole Field House, is an indoor collegiate sports training complex located on 14.5 acres (5.9 ha) of land on the campus of the University of Maryland in College Park, a suburb north of Washington, D.C.[3] Cole Field House is situated in the center of the campus, adjacent to Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium, near Stamp Student Union and McKeldin Library. The building was constructed between 1952 and 1955 at a cost of $3.3 million ($27.1 million in 2021 [1]) and served for nearly 50 years as the home court of the Maryland Terrapins men's and women's basketball teams.[4] A multi-phase, $196 million renovation commenced in 2015 to transform the 14,956-seat basketball arena into a 356,000-square-foot (33,100 m2) sports and academic complex that includes an indoor practice facility and operations center for the university's football program, a sports science and sports medical research center, and an incubator for entrepreneurs.[5]

Cole Field House Performance Center, the indoor practice facility and operations center for the Maryland Terrapins football team (Big Ten Conference), opened in 2017.[6] Though the facility is primarily used for football, it also used for training by the school's men's and women's lacrosse teams [7] The second phase of renovation, which began in late-2017, includes the construction of a 196,000-square-foot (18,200 m2) addition to the complex and is expected to be completed in 2019.[3]. This new structure will also include a space for the school’s Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Center for Sports Medicine, Health and Human Performance, a sports medicine education, investigation and clinical care center operated in partnership with the University of Maryland, Baltimore. [6]

Cole Field House Performance Center

Cole Field House Performance Center, the 160,000-square-foot (15,000 m2) indoor practice facility, opened in August 2017 and features a full-length, 100-yard-long FieldTurf football field with a goal post at each end surrounded by an elevated concourse.[8][9] With a nearly 90-foot (27 m) height clearance from the field to the center of the roof, the facility ranks among the highest headrooms in any NCAA practice facility.[9] When completed, the facility will include two full-length outdoor football practice fields, locker rooms, a 26,000-square-foot (2,400 m2) strength and conditioning center, hydrotherapy and other training facilities, a 180-seat theater-style team meeting room, position meeting rooms, a 230-seat cafeteria, recruiting lounge, and staff offices for the university's football program.[10][11] An underground tunnel will connect the Cole Field House Performance Center to Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium.[12]

Center for Sports Medicine Health and Human Performance

The Center for Sports Medicine Health and Human Performance is an academic research center operated in partnership with the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore as part of the MPowering the State initiative.[13] The Center studies the treatment of sports-related conditions, including neuroscience with a specific focus on concussions and traumatic brain injury. The facility will also be a treatment center for an array of sports injuries.[14] The Center will initially occupy a 40,000-square-foot (3,700 m2) space within the Cole Field House complex, with plans to expand to a total of 60,000 square feet (5,600 m2) of space.[15]


Cole Field House in 1955 opened as the Student Activities Building, a 12,000-seat basketball arena. The $3.3 million facility was constructed to be the home court of the university's men's basketball team. When it opened, the facility was second-largest basketball arena on the East Coast. Only Madison Square Garden in NYC had a larger seating capacity.[4] The first basketball event hosted in building was played on December 2, 1955, when the Maryland Terrapins beat the Virginia Cavaliers by the score of 67–55 in an Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season matchup.[16] The structure was renamed the William P. Cole, Jr. Student Activities Building in 1956 in honor of Judge William P. Cole, Jr., chairman of the university's Board of Regents from 1944 to 1956. The first head men's basketball coach to call the facility home was Bud Millikan. In the late 1960s, then-head coach Lefty Driesell added nearly 3,000 seats around the court raising the hometown decibel level.[17]

Cole Field House was the host site of the NCAA Basketball Tournament East Region finals in 1962, when New York University defeated St. John's in the regional final, 94–85. The NCAA Tournament Final Four was first hosted at the facility in 1966 and featured the Duke Blue Devils, Kentucky Wildcats, Texas Western (now UTEP Miners), and Utah Utes. Texas Western (which started all black players) upset Kentucky's all-white team 72–65 before 14,253 spectators. Future Hall of Fame head men's basketball coach Gary Williams, then a student, attended the game. Cole Field House also hosted the 1970 NCAA Final Four.[18] In 1991, Cole was the site of the first-ever upset of an NCAA Tournament No. 2-seed at the hands of a No. 15-seed, as Richmond defeated heavily favored Syracuse, 73-69.[19]

Cole Field House is the site of the most upsets of No. 1-ranked men's basketball teams. The Terrapins accounted for six of the upsets at Cole, while the other one occurred in the 1966 Final Four where No. 3 Texas Western defeated No. 1 Kentucky. The seventh such occurrence was on February 27, 2002, when Maryland defeated No. 1 Duke. The venues which hosted the second- and third-most No. 1 upsets are Notre Dame's Joyce Athletics & Convention Center (six) and Oklahoma's Lloyd Noble Center (five), respectively.[20]


In the 1990s, the administration at Maryland followed a trend occurring at other schools in the ACC to seek a new facility that provided more seating and amenities than were present at Cole Field House. However, this decision brought some debate. Coach Gary Williams privately wished the team remain at Cole due to the home court advantage he received. The small, cramped arena made Cole Field House a loud and difficult place for opponents to play in.[21]

The last Maryland men's basketball game played at Cole Field House was on March 3, 2002, when Maryland defeated Virginia 112–92. The team now plays at the XFINITY Center. Overall, 13 men's All-Americans and four women's All-Americans have played at Cole. Maryland men's basketball remained undefeated at Cole during its last season and went on to win the National Championship.

Former uses

File:Cole Fieldhouse INSIDE.jpg

The interior of Cole Field House in 2007.

After its basketball teams vacated Cole Field House, the facility was used by the university for intramural athletics and administrative offices. A soccer field constructed atop the basketball court was used as a practice facility by some athletes. The concourse also served as a makeshift track for students, faculty, and other members of the University community. When not used for athletics, the building was used for Homecoming events and classes, and held offices.

The structure had been the subject of speculation for renewal and multiple non-University-related reuses. One such plan was to build a station for the future Purple Line, a light rail line in development by the Maryland Transit Administration.[22] The Maryland Maniacs indoor football team used Cole Field House as its home venue in 2010.

On September 24, 2013, the Maryland Athletic Department announced that the Terrapin men's and women's basketball teams would hold their Maryland Madness event on October 18 at Cole Field House. It marked the first official athletic event hosted in the facility since the Terps' new arena opened in 2002.[23]

Other notable events

  • 1965: DeMatha Catholic High School defeated a Power Memorial Academy team led by Lew Alcindor 46–43, ending its 71-game winning streak in front of over 14,000.[citation needed]
  • 1966: Texas Western, now the University of Texas at El Paso, defeated a Kentucky Wildcats team led by Adolph Rupp 72–65 to win the national championship. In this game, the victorious Miners were the first basketball team in the NCAA's top level to start five African Americans. Texas Western's victory is considered one of the most important games in the history of college sports.[citation needed]
  • 1972: A ping-pong match between the United States and the People's Republic of China is played at Cole, the first sporting event between the two countries.[citation needed]
  • 1973: An exhibition of the Soviet gymnastics team, including gold medalist Olga Korbut, sells out the arena and is televised locally in the Washington, D.C. area.[24]
  • 1973: The NBA's Capital Bullets (now the Washington Wizards) played November home games at Cole while the team transitioned from Baltimore to Landover. Their new home, Capital Centre, opened on December 2.[citation needed] They had played several home games at Cole during their last seasons in Baltimore.[25][26]
  • September 27 and 28, 1974: Elvis Presley in concert. His first concert appearance in the immediate Washington, D.C. area. The venue proved too small. The Capital Centre in Largo, Maryland was booked in 1976 and 1977.[27]
  • January 26, 1975: The first televised women's basketball game is played at Cole. Maryland loses to the defending national champions Immaculata. Some sources report that Immaculata won 80–48,[28][29] while others report 85–63.[30][31]
  • 1977: Queen plays at Cole.[32]
  • 1981: The Grateful Dead played at Cole.[33]
  • 1998: Bob Dylan performed at Cole.[34]
  • 2015: Comedian Hannibal Buress performed in what was the last show at Cole before its conversion to the headquarters of the Terrapins football team.
  • 2015: The Maryland Wrestling High school State Championships was the last championship event to be contested before its conversion to the headquarters of the Terrapins football team.

On April 28, 1973, Chuck Berry played at Cole Field House. The show was particularly notable because Berry (who did not employ a full time band) was backed by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.[citation needed]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2008. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved December 7, 2010.
  2. "Archived copy".,amp.html.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "First steps approved for Cole Field House second phase".
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Building History". April 19, 2014.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Markus, Don. "Maryland officially opens new Cole Field House indoor practice facility".
  7. "Inside Lacrosse - View".
  8. CMS, King Sports Construction | Simplicity. "King Sports Construction".
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Project Team Breathes New Life Into Field House".
  10. "UMD President and Football Coach Reveal New Cole Field House".
  11. "University Of Maryland Opens New Cole Field House Practice Facility".
  12. "Take a look" (PDF). August 2, 2017.
  13. "MPower Maryland | MPower alliance with UMB results in innovative programs".
  14. "Center for Sports Medicine".
  15. "Take a look inside" (PDF). July 21, 2017.
  16. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Webarchive/data' not found.?
  17. Olesker, Michael. "Terps' Cole rebounded to be cherished hoops home".
  18. The structure was renamed the William P. Cole, Jr. Student Activities Building in 1956 in honor of Judge William P. Cole, Jr., chairman of the university's Board of Regents from 1944 to 1956.DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=29700&ATCLID=207293185&SPID=120730&SPSID=716401 "Cole Field House – Maryland Terrapins Athletics – University of Maryland Terps Official Athletic Site". Maryland Terrapins Athletics. 26 September 2000. The structure was renamed the William P. Cole, Jr. Student Activities Building in 1956 in honor of Judge William P. Cole, Jr., chairman of the university's Board of Regents from 1944 to 1956.DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=29700&ATCLID=207293185&SPID=120730&SPSID=716401. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  19. Juliano, Joe (15 March 1991). "Syracuse Stunned By Richmond 2d-seeded Orange Are Ousted, 73-69". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  20. History & Honors, p. 183, 2009 Maryland Basketball Media Guide, 2009.
  21. John Feinstein, A March to Madness: A View from the Floor in the Atlantic Coast Conference
  22. "Purple line plans may speed up – News". Retrieved 26 July 2016.[dead link]
  23. "Maryland Madness to be Held at Cole Field House – Maryland Terrapins Athletics – University of Maryland Terps Official Athletic Site". Maryland Terrapins Athletics. 24 September 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  24. umdarchives (2017-01-18). "Soviet gymnasts visit Cole Field House at height of Cold War".
  25. "Yule-conscious Bullets facing crowded schedule". Baltimore Afro-American: p. 16. December 26, 1970.
  26. "Bullets set 8 games at College Park". Baltimore Afro-American: p. D9. July 24, 1971.
  27. ELVIS, HIS LIFE FROM A TO Z. Library of Congress: Wings Books. 1992. pp. 338–339. ISBN 0-517-06634-3.
  28. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named LAJ
  29. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ACC
  30. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named JoePa timeline
  31. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named WNBA
  32. [Concerts "QUEEN CONCERTS – 04.02.1977 – Queen live in Cole Field House, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA"]. Concerts. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
  33. [Dead (official site) "Cole Field House – March 7, 1981 | Grateful Dead"]. Rhino Entertainment Company. Dead (official site). Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  34. Pagel, Bill. [Dates "Bob Dylan – Bob Links – Fall 1998 Tour Guide"]. Dates. Retrieved 29 September 2013.

External links

Template:University of Maryland name

Preceded by
Ritchie Coliseum
Home of the
Maryland Terrapins

1955 – 2002
Succeeded by
Xfinity Center
Preceded by

Memorial Coliseum
Freedom Hall
NCAA Men's Division I
Basketball Tournament
Finals Venue

Succeeded by

Freedom Hall

Template:Maryland Terrapins men's basketball navbox Template:Maryland Terrapins women's basketball navbox Template:Washington Wizards