The Nebraska women's basketball program will be celebrating its 37th and final season in the Bob Devaney Sports Center in 2012-13, before moving into the new Pinnacle Bank Arena for the 2013-14 campaign.
The 13,595-seat Devaney Center opened in the fall of 1976 on what was the Nebraska State Fairgrounds. The area is now being converted into Nebraska's Innovation Campus.
The original building was a $13 million project and currently houses the Huskers' basketball, track, swimming, and gymnastics teams. Named after Bob Devaney, Nebraska's highly successful football coach and athletic director (1962-93), NU's homecourt for both men's and women's basketball has also been the home of some of the nation's most devout fans.
The building will be converted to the primary home of Nebraska's nationally prominent women's volleyball team beginning in the 2013 season. The Devaney Center will undergo a significant renovation project and will be the new home arena for volleyball and wrestling, while continuing to be the home of the men's and women's gymnastics program, along with the Devaney Center Indoor Track and the Devaney Natatorium.
In 2009-10, Nebraska smashed its home attendance records throughout the season, averaging a school-record 7,390 fans per game to rank among the top 10 teams in the nation. The Huskers also led the Big 12 Conference in home attendance during regular-season conference play. NU averaged 11,393 fans per game, including a school-record 13,595 fans for NU's Feb. 27, 2010 home win over Missouri. It was the first sellout of the Devaney Center for a women's basketball game.
The record-setting Husker crowd was treated to more than just a win over the Tigers. Following the game, Nebraska celebrated on the court as they were awarded the 2010 Big 12 Conference regular-season championship trophy. After the trophy presentation, Nebraska players and coaches cut down the nets at the Devaney Center. (see the Devaney Center photo gallery attached to this article for images of the championship celebration)
Success on their homecourt was nothing new to the Huskers in 2009-10. In fact, Nebraska carried a 28-game home winning streak into its final Big 12 Conference season in 2011, before it ended at the hands of Oklahoma. Since 2003-04, Nebraska has won nearly 80 percent of its home games (111-30), and has won nearly 75 percent of its home games all time at the Devaney Center (375-126) entering the 2012-13 season.
The electric environment at the Devaney Center has come with a growing fan base following a growing women's basketball program that has made eight postseason tournament trips in the past nine years, including four NCAA Tournament bids in the past six seasons. Overall, Nebraska has claimed 12 postseason bids in the past 17 years, including eight trips to the NCAA Tournament.
During that stretch, Nebraska has entertained 14 crowds of more than 10,000 fans. The Huskers have also annually ranked among the top 30 teams nationally in home attendance over the past 15 seasons.
In 1999-2000, the Devaney Center underwent $7.9 million in renovations, including the addition of two HuskerVision replay screens, hustle-stat boards, digital message boards, new sound and lighting systems and increased chairback and disabled seating. The improvements to the arena reduced the seating capacity from 14,000 to 13,500. Major concourse renovations, including a Husker Hall of Honor and a Husker Walk of Fame, added to the winning atmosphere of the Devaney Center.
Hendricks Training Complex
In October of 2011, the Devaney Center welcomed the opening of a new addition with the Hendricks Training Complex, which provides practice courts, a new locker room, team areas and new coaches offices to the women's basketball staff. The addition also allowed for expanded areas for strength and conditioning, and athletic medicine.
The Huskers will continue to call the Hendricks Training Complex home in the future.
Pinnacle Bank Arena
In the spring of 2010, a vote passed among local residents to begin building a new arena in downtown Lincoln. The Nebraska men's and women's basketball teams will be the primary residents of the new arena when it opens for the 2013-14 season.
Devaney Center Facts
Opened (Cost): 1976 ($13 million)
Largest Crowd: 13,595 (Missouri, Feb. 27, 2010)
First Women's Basketball Game: Nebraska 72, Winnipeg 62, Nov. 12, 1976
All-Time Record (Entering 2010-11): 375-126 (.749)
Longest Home Winning Streaks
- 29 Wins - Dec. 22, 1986 (Drake) to Jan. 18, 1989 (Kansas) - ended by Iowa State, Feb. 1, 1989
- 28 Wins - Feb. 14, 2009 (Texas Tech) to Jan. 2, 2011 (Florida A&M) - ended by Oklahoma, Jan. 8, 2011
- 27 Wins - Nov. 14, 1997 (Miami, Ohio) to Feb. 7, 1999 (Iowa State) - ended by Baylor, Feb. 10, 1999
Longest Husker Losing Streak: 5, from Jan. 17, 2001 (Texas Tech) to Feb. 10, 2001 (Colorado)
Most Points: 118 vs. Michigan, 11/28/90
Largest Margin of Victory: 69 vs. Nicholls State, 12/10/95, (107-38)
Largest Margin of Defeat: 33 vs. Creighton, Dec. 10, 1993, (64-97)
Devaney Center Top 10 Women's Basketball Crowds
- 13,595 - Feb. 27, 2010 vs. Missouri
- 13,303 - Jan. 23, 2010 vs. Kansas State
- 13,226 - Feb. 26, 2000 vs. Kansas State
- 13,135 - Feb. 7, 1999 vs. #15 Iowa State
- 13,023 - Feb. 23, 2005 vs. #17 Kansas State
- 12,747 - Feb. 20, 2010 vs. Colorado
- 12,429 - Feb. 12, 2005 vs. #14 Iowa State
- 12,280 - March 3, 2010 vs. Kansas
- 12,181 - Feb. 28, 1998 vs. #22 Iowa State
- 11,465 - Feb. 22, 1998 vs. Colorado
Devaney Center Women's Basketball Season Attendance Averages
(seasons with 3,000-plus fans per game)
- 2009-10 - 7,390
- 1998-99 - 5,000
- 1999-00 - 4,772
- 2011-12 - 4,597
- 2010-11 - 4,333
- 2000-01 - 4,204
- 2006-07 - 4,110
- 2004-05 - 4,022
- 2007-08 - 3,705
- 2001-02 - 3,473
- 1997-98 - 3,452
- 1996-97 - 3,381
- 2008-09 - 3,211
- 2005-06 - 3,201
- 2003-04 - 3,074