Convocation Center enters season two

The UM Convocation Center is the largest multipurpose venue on the Coral Gables campus. With 7,000 seats and 25 suites, the Convocation Center is a $40 million success of UM and the Athletic Department.

Since it’s the first venue on the UM campus to seat more than 1,000 people, the Convocation Center has changed the college experience for students, who can now walk to men’s and women’s basketball games from class or from their rooms. The facility also serves the campus as the new site for commencement for all schools at UM, which, prior to the completion of the building, were held outdoors on the university green.

Incoming students can take advantage of all the events that are held at the Convocation Center, some of which are free and others which may be available at a discounted amount for students. Artists such as Ludacris, Coldplay, and Good Charlotte have graced the stage. Maya Angelou and Michael J. Fox have spoken in the Convocation Center during commencement ceremonies. With the new athletic conference, the Atlantic Coast Conference, champion teams such as Duke, North Carolina and rival FSU will all play on the basketball court. The Convovation Center, in its second full season of completion, remains an exciting place to be on the university campus.

Students attending events at the Convocation Center have quickly come to appreciate its many amenities, including concession stands, promotional counters and portable concession stands surrounding the main concourse level. Everything is positioned for easy access from any area of the building to avoid traffic congestion on the concourse level during events. Concessions run from the traditional hot dogs, popcorn and nachos to Papa John’s pizza, Dipping Dots ice cream, chicken sandwiches, and Miami favorites such as empanadas, churros, and arepas.

“I love going to the basketball games now. The new Convocation Center makes the whole experience better,” Blair Sprout, senior, said. “We used to not go to games just because of how far away they were. Now my friends and I come all the time and just walk back to the dorms after the game.”

During the basketball games all UM students have the opportunity to join the Hurricane Force Reward Program, created by the Category 5 student organization. As part of this program, all Hurricane Force members will receive an official Force t-shirt and reward card. Force members who attend Hurricane Basketball games will have the opportunity to receive free rewards such as retail discounts and food products provided by Miami Hurricane Corporate Sponsors. Membership to the Hurricane Force Reward Program is free for all students with a valid ‘Cane Card.

This fall semester will be unlike any other; the Convocation Center will host the upcoming Presidential Debate, the Dalai Lama and many other events.

“We’re looking forward to bringing events to the University of Miami Convocation Center that will draw the interest of the students and the South Florida community as a whole,” said Patrick McGrew, general manager of the UM Convocation Center. “We’re working to build a strong relationship with all our neighbors.” I

>> For more information about the C-Center call 305-284-8686 or visit

Christi Soltz and Vikas Johari contributed to this article.