Situated along Euclid Avenue on the University of Kentucky campus, Memorial Coliseum was completed in 1950 at a cost of approximately $4 million. The building serves as a memorial to the more than 10,000 Kentuckians who lost their lives in World War II and the Korean conflict. The Coliseum covers an entire city block and has as much space as a seven-story office building. In 1990, a $1 million renovation project added a state-of-the-art weight training facility, new basketball and athletics administration offices, players’ lounges, and a team meeting room. As a result of the renovation, the seating capacity was reduced from 11,500 to 8,500. The building also houses UK’s Center for Academic and Tutorial Services (CATS), a $2.4 million facility which opened in 1998. Further enhancements were made to the Coliseum when a new video board and scoreboard were installed in 2007 and a sound system was added in 2008.
From professional tennis exhibitions featuring the likes of Jim Courier and John McEnroe to the annual commencement ceremonies, Memorial Coliseum has played host to just about every type of event imaginable.
201 Avenue of Champions
Lexington, Kentucky 40506-0019
Women’s Basketball at Memorial Coliseum
Memorial Coliseum is the home of one of the richest basketball traditions in the nation. It is also home to the University of Kentucky women’s basketball team, a team that has returned glory and excitement to a facility that has known a wealth of both.
For 25 years, the historic coliseum housed the renowned Kentucky Wildcats men’s team, which won two national championships and 16 Southeastern Conference titles while playing in the facility under the direction of legendary coaches Adolph Rupp and Joe B. Hall. When the Wildcats moved downtown to 23,000-seat Rupp Arena in 1976, the then-11,500 seat Coliseum became the exclusive basketball home for the women’s team. Although the Coliseum is nicknamed “the house that Rupp built,” University President H.L. Donovan is credited with beginning the plans for the Coliseum’s construction in 1941 when he recommended a building that would “properly take care of our athletics, our health services, our physical education and our recreation.”
A new state-of-the-art floor was installed in the summer of 2007, as the original 52-year-old floor was taken out in place of a playing surface that will be much more friendly to each athlete’s tendencies and will cut down on injuries. A new sound system and speaker cluster were added in the summer of 2008.
Volleyball at Memorial Coliseum
In a continuing effort to ensure that UK student-athletes are competing at a first-class level, the volleyball facilities at Memorial Coliseum have undergone a facelift. The volleyball squad moved into a state-of-the-art locker room in the location of the former men’s basketball locker room, which overlooks the playing court. The spacious facilities are in addition to the new offices for coaches and volleyball staff that will make Memorial Coliseum second-to-none.
Kentucky is one of only four schools in the Southeastern Conference (Arkansas, Florida and LSU being the others) to compete in its school’s main athletics arena. The expansion has also made Memorial Coliseum the exclusive practice home of the volleyball squad as well. With the construction of the Joe Craft Center, which features practice courts for the men’s and women’s basketball teams, the volleyball squad doesn’t share practice time with basketball. The UK volleyball team plays all of its home matches at the Coliseum, the home of the program since it came into existence in 1977. The Wildcats have compiled a 279-128 record, good for a .686 winning percentage in 30 seasons of play in the facility. The Coliseum provides a tremendous home-court advantage for the Wildcats, who went a remarkable 13-2 at home in 2006. It was Kentucky’s best home mark since the 1993 season.
Since Skinner’s arrival prior to the start of the 2005 season, attendance at Memorial Coliseum has skyrocketed.
“When our fans come one, they’re going to want to come again,” UK Coach Craig Skinner said. “We put an exciting team out on the floor that plays with a lot of passion and enthusiasm. I think when kids come to watch our team play, they are going to walk away wanting to be a part of it.”
The Coliseum has played host to first- and second-round NCAA volleyball action as well as regional matches and the 1983 NCAA Volleyball Final Four.
Gymnastics at Memorial Coliseum
Historic Memorial Coliseum is the site for all University of Kentucky home gymnastics meets. A renovation was completed in 1990 including a new gymnastics state-of-the-art locker room overlooking the Memorial Coliseum floor, and a new team room, exclusively for the gymnastics team, featuring room to meet, study or relax. Also brand new offices for the Kentucky gymnastics coaches overlooking the Memorial Coliseum floor were built.
The Coliseum has been the site of numerous events, including NCAA Volleyball Tournament action and the NCAA Volleyball Final Four in 1983. Also held in the Coliseum have been first-round NCAA women’s basketball games, NCAA gymnastics regionals, and in 1991, the SEC Gymnastics Championship. It was also recently named the host site for the 2010 NCAA?Central Regional Championships. Many other community and University activities also take place there.
In addition to serving as home of the Kentucky gymnastics team, the Coliseum is also the home of UK’s volleyball and women’s basketball teams. For 24 seasons, prior to the opening of downtown’s 23,000-seat Rupp Arena, the Coliseum housed the Wildcats men’s basketball team.
A spacious training room located in the Coliseum is utilized by the gymnastics team. Under the direction of Edward Jamiel, the Wildcats receive top treatment from the training staff. At least one trainer travels with the team to provide special care for the athletes.
From I-75 Northbound
Take Exit 104, turn left. Proceed into downtown Lexington on U.S. 25/421 which becomes Main Street. Once it becomes one-way, turn left on Rose Street. Take Rose Street four blocks to Euclid Avenue. Turn right and Memorial Coliseum is on right.
From I-75 Southbound/I-64 Eastbound
Take Exit 113, turn right. Proceed downtown on North Broadway/U.S. 27/68. Travel past Main Street three blocks and turn left on Maxwell Street. Proceed through four lights and one block past Samaritan Hospital, turn right on Lexington Avenue. Memorial Coliseum is on the left.
From I-64 Westbound
Once it merges with I-75 North, take Exit 113 and turn right. Proceed downtown on North Broadway/U.S. 27/68. Travel past Main Street three blocks and turn left on Maxwell Street. Proceed through four lights and one block past Samaritan Hospital, turn right on Lexington Avenue. Memorial Coliseum is on the left.
From Bluegrass Parkway
Follow the BG Parkway until it merges with U.S. 60 and proceed east into downtown Lexington. Once it becomes one way, it changes into Maxwell Street. Proceed past South Broadway through four more lights. One block past Samaritan Hospital, turn right on Lexington Avenue. Memorial Coliseum is on the left.
Spectator parking is located in all of the E-lots surrounding Memorial Coliseum and the South Limestone Garage opens 1.5 hours prior to tip) as well as the Transit Center (new for the 2012-13 season).
The Lexington Parking Authority Transit Center Parking Garage, located between High Street and Vine Street is available for parking after 5:00pm during the week and all day on the weekends. Additionally, a free shuttle service will pick up in the LR Cooke Lot near the corner of High Street and Martin Luther King beginning 1.5 hours prior to tip.
Parking is prohibited in any R (Residential) lots. Vehicles parking in Residential lots without a proper permit, along yellow curbs, grass spaces, or other non-specified and unapproved areas may be subject to ticket and/or tow.
Handicap parking is available in the E-Lot (Employee Lot) North of the Craft Center, adjacent to the metered spaces running along the frontage of the Craft Center with a valid, state issued handicap tag. These spaces (typically 20-30 stalls) are available on a first-come, first-serve basis until full.
See the Combined Parking and Shuttle Map for more information.
Shuttles are available beginning 1.5 hours prior to tip off and pick up/drop off near Parking Structure # 5 (blue route) and near the Transit Center Parking Garage (green route).
Shuttles will start back up 1.5 hours after tip-off (to return guests to their parking areas).
See the Combined Parking and Shuttle Map for pick up and drop off points.
Transit Garage Information
UK Hoops Fans – avoid traffic and congestion around Memorial Coliseum and park for FREE at the Transit Center Garage- available after 5pm on weekdays and all weekend games!
Transit Garage Parking Instructions
(Accessible from Vine Street or High Street)
How do I enter the garage?
Please do not lose your token! If you lose your token, you will be charged an $8 lost token fee. To do this, visit the Pay on Foot station located in the 7th floor elevator lobby of the garage and choose “lost token.” You will be charged $8.00 and given a new token that can be used to exit the garage.
How do I exit the garage?
All surrounding E-lots around Memorial Coliseum including the North Craft lot, Rose Street, and Linden Walk employee lots are available for event parking beginning 3 hours prior to match time. Disability parking is available in the North Craft lot. Spaces are limited and provided on a first come, first served basis with a valid, state-issued disabled parking hangtag. Please note: Parking is prohibited in any R-lot. Vehicles parking in R-lots without a proper permit, along yellow curbs, grass spaces or other non-specified and unapproved areas may be subject to ticket and/or tow.
Parking is available in all E-lots surrounding Memorial Coliseum beginning 3 hours prior to the start of the meet. Additional parking is available in the South Limestone garage (formerly referred to as Parking Structure #5) adjacent to Kennedy’s Bookstore, which is a 5-10 minute walk to Memorial Coliseum.Disabled parking is available in the E-lot north of the Joe Craft Center, adjacent to the metered spaces, with a valid, state-issued disabled hangtag. These spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis until full. Please note: Parking is prohibited in any R-lot. Vehicles parking in R-lots without a proper permit, along yellow curbs, grass spaces or other non-specified and unapproved areas may be subject to ticket and/or tow.
NEW! – There will be a shuttle available for all home meets, to escort spectators from the South Limestone garage; the shuttle picks up/drops off on Administration Drive, at the end of the pedestrian sky bridge accessed from the 3rd floor of the parking garage. The shuttle will be available beginning at 5:00pm and will end 1 hour post-meet.
Memorial Coliseum A-Z
Code of Conduct
In order to keep women’s basketball games as enjoyable as possible for all, the University of Kentucky asks that all patrons respect those around them. The University of Kentucky reserves the right to remove any individual from Memorial Coliseum who displays conduct that may endanger or disrupt players, coaches, officials or other patrons. No refunds are given in such cases.
Concessions are available in the east and west concourses of Memorial Coliseum. UK Team Shop, our apparel vendor, will sell merchandise on the upper concourse area on the west side, across from the concession stand.
Disabled Guest Services
Disabled seating is located on concourse level in Sections H, J, U and V and on the north balcony. Disabled patrons are permitted to have one (1) guest sit with them in these areas.
Disabled parking is available in the Joe Craft North Parking Lot. A member of our Event Staff personnel, along with posted signage and coned off parking stalls will assist you in finding this area.
Event Management and UK Security will assist anyone needing medical attention. The First Aid room is located on the concourse level behind Section A in the southwest corner of Memorial Coliseum.
The competition area is restricted to competing athletes, working staff, game officials, and other credentialed personnel. Please refrain from entering the competition area at all times. Failure to adhere to this policy may result in dismissal from the event.
In cases of severe weather, your safety is our utmost importance. Announcements will be made to all spectators regarding any evacuation procedures, should they be deemed necessary during any event at Memorial Coliseum.
Game day line-up cards and rosters are available in the marketing gazebo located on the west side upper concourse. They are available at no charge to the public.
In accordance with the University of Kentucky’s Smoke-Free Campus Initiative, Tobacco products are prohibited inside, as well as outside of Memorial Coliseum and all University grounds.
Team and Guest Pass Lists
To gain entry via a pass list, please enter through the Lexington Avenue Lobby located on the West side of Memorial Coliseum. There will be a table with personnel to assist you.