With another non-Terps news day, I thought I'd post a topic that I've heard many Terps fans debate - which is better? Cole or Comcast?
I had the luxury of being a student during the end of the Cole Field House era and start of the Comcast Center era. Each arena obviously has its positives
and negatives. Cole had so many historic events and unreal players play within its walls, while Comcast has room for an additional 3,000+ fans and is a state of the art facility.
Before building Comcast, the University of Maryland weighed building a new, state of the art arena (Comcast) or renovating and updating Cole Field House. The cost to renovate Cole ended up being a few million more than building a new arena, so the University decided to move forward with building Comcast, which in my opinion was a horrible idea.
As someone who was able to experience both arenas as a student, I loved the atmosphere in Cole. It didn't seem to matter who Maryland was playing, the crowd was always in the game. You could always feel the energy in that building. Cole was also the home to several historic events. Among them was the 1966 Final 4, which featured a final against Texas Western and Kentucky. The matchup was extremely important because it was a civil rights game in that Texas Western started all black players and beat Kentucky's all white starting five. Cole also hosted the 1970 Final 4.
Cole was also home to some of basketball's greatest players - Len Bias, Juan Dixon, John Lucas, as well as some of greats of women's basketball, such as Vicky Bullett and Tara Heiss. Hall of fame coaches Lefty Driesell, Gary Williams and women's basketball great Chris Weller patrolled the sidelines at Cole. Weller helped put women's basketball on the map by moving the women's team into Cole and having what was the largest ACC crowd to ever witness a women's basketball game (Maryland still holds the record, but its is now larger since they've sold out Comcast for several women's games).
Cole also hosted some of music's greatest stars, including Elvis, Aretha Franklin and Bob Dylan.
Comcast has hosted some memorable games, is a great, state of the art facility, and has two cool student section features in that the students surround the court and also have the student "Wall" in the West end of the arena, in which opposing fans must shoot into in the 2nd half of games. I've heard Comcast get loud, but probably never as loud as I heard Cole. I know the University wanted luxury boxes, flashy jumbotrons, etc., but to me Comcast is too corporate.
And saying that the facility would be a selling point for basketball recruits has clearly been disproved, as multiple big name players have passed over College Park since Comcast has opened its doors (this isn't entirely true for women's basketball as Comcast HAS been a great recruiting tool for head coach Brenda Frese.
What are your thoughts about Cole vs. Comcast? Create a fan post and tell us what you think or tell us about your favorite Cole or Comcast memory!