Today started as an early morning as we left Charlotte and headed to Chapel Hill. We got to visit the facilities of baseball, track and field, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, basketball, swimming and diving, and many others. Since UNC has 28 sports we were not able to visit all the facilities, however we were able to visit most of them. Karen Sneed was out tour guide and she was tremendous! The fact that UNC has 28 sports and the facilities for all those sports is absolutely mind blowing. UNC’s athletic facilities are based on tradition and the traditional UNC Tarheel image. One thing that really stood out to us was the hall of fame museums in each stadium. Each of these hall of fames were a piece of history that was very unique and a part of their winning tradition.
The four facilities that stood out to us were the swimming pool, the baseball stadium, the football stadium and the basketball gymnasium. The pool contained one million gallons of water. That may not seem like much but when you actually see that much water in a pool you get to see how big and how much it is. The baseball stadium was recently renovated in 2008 and reopened in 2009. The stadium holds 4,100 people and with standing room 5,000. The Keenan Memorial Stadium, home of Tarheel Football, holds 63,000 people along with a student-athlete Olympic sport lifting room and development room. The Dean Smith Center holds 22,000 people, was built in 1986 and has a lot of the same features as the day it opened. The stadium surprisingly does not have any suites or club seating. This is why we stated earlier that UNC is built on tradition and believes in upholding that tradition. Along with the tradition, baseball, football, and basketball all have their own lifting and training facilities in their stadiums. This was very cool to us because they could hold all their workouts and trainings in their own stadium.
Most of these stadiums, if not all of these stadiums were named after a big donor that has some history at UNC. It was interesting to see how some of these facilities were multi-purposeful such as the Carmichael Arena that holds women’s basketball, volleyball, wrestling, and gymnastics. The indoor practice facility was used for football, track and field, and other sports depending on the weather. The track and field infield was also used for soccer and lacrosse. It is so interesting to see how many different purposes one facility can be used for.
We are so thankful for Karen and her time spent showing us around the facilities. It is not only eye opening to see other facilities but they were top of the line and it was a great opportunity. We are both very thankful for this opportunity and glad that UNC was a facility we were able to tour!
-Student Reflection, Jacqueline McGill and Taylor McFall, Graduate Students in the Master of Science in Recreation and Sport Administration – Intercollegiate Athletics