An intimidating arena for opponents of the University of Memphis women's basketball and volleyball teams, the Elma Roane Fieldhouse serves as the home of the Tigers right in the heart of the University of Memphis campus. The arena is often packed with Tiger fans and gets loud and raucous during games with the stands backing right up to the benches courtside. That has provided the Tigers with a great home-court advantage over the years.
The Fieldhouse is named after former women's athletic director Elma Neal Roane. A pioneer for women's athletics at Memphis and in the Mid-South, Roane still attends games in her namesake building, cheering on the Blue and Gray.
And for women's student-athletes, the Fieldhouse is an all-in-one stop with a weight room and athletic training room in the lower level of the fieldhouse.
The weight room, which opened in 2005, features top-of-the-line Power Lift combo racks with Iron Grip weights. The weight room also features four Woodway High Speed Treadmills, which are specifically made for training elite level athletes. Strength and conditioning coach Mike Jenkins and his student assistants train various women's athletic teams in the downstairs weight room.
Right next door to the weight room is the athletic training facility where the Tigers can train, get treated, practice and compete all in one building, right in the heart of the University of Memphis campus.
Upstairs, the locker rooms began a renovation process as soon as the 2009-2010 women's basketball season was complete. The locker rooms will go through a two-phase renovation in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse, with the first phase being an entire remodel of the back area. The current three locker areas will be narrowed down to two locker rooms, one for volleyball and one for basketball, and the lounge space will also be renovated to better fit the needs of the Tiger volleyball and basketball programs. At the end of the renovation, the two teams will have brand new locker rooms, a new shower and bathroom area, a new area that can accommodate media post-game needs, and new storage and a more efficient lounge area.
As soon as the first phase of the remodel is done in the Fall of 2010, the second phase will begin downstairs, where the Tigers will renovate both the strength and conditioning and weight room areas, and will add officials locker rooms for the various games and tournaments the Tigers host each season.
The entire renovation will cost close to a million dollars and will offer the basketball and volleyball teams a luxurious home right in the center of campus to practice and play their home games.
There's never been a better time to be a Tiger fan. Ten-straight 20-win seasons. Ten-consecutive postseason tournament berths, including a trip to the 2008 NCAA championship game and back-to-back Elite Eight appearances in 2006 and 2007. A roster that features some of the nation's best collegiate talent. And, to top it off, Memphis fans are able to watch their beloved Tigers in the one of the country's best arenas, FedExForum.
The 2010-11 college basketball season will be the team's seventh season in FedExForum, and the Tigers have made the arena one of the nation's best homecourt advantages. In its first six seasons, Memphis posted a 110-13 record (18.3 home wins per season) for an amazing 89.4 winning percentage. The Tigers put together a school-record 47-game homecourt win streak at FedExForum from 2006-08.
Although nearing its sixth birthday in September 2010, FedExForum is a $250 million state-of-the-art arena that has the nation still talking. When fans come to a game at FedExForum, the excitement begins even before they enter the front doors. FedExForum features a 35,000 square-foot outdoor plaza where all fans enter the building. The plaza serves as Memphis' front porch, a gathering area for fans of all ages.
Once in FedExForum, fans are treated to an experience that is unparalleled in the college basketball game. In the arena, there are five levels with wide concourses, making navigating the building easy. There are over 100 points of sale for concession stands, meaning shorter lines. There are four full-service restaurants, with three offering service to Premium Seat Holders - Opus, a fine dining restaurant overlooking the court; Blue Note Lounge, where fans can get a cocktail and a light meal before or during the game; and the Lexus Lounge. The fourth restaurant, which is open to all fans just off the Grand Lobby, is Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 Sports Bar, a fun pregame meeting place with patio seating.
All of the food in FedExForum is offered by Levy Restaurants, the leader in sports and entertainment venue dining, and fans experience selection and quality beyond anything they've ever had at a sporting event. Memphis favorites such as Neely's Barbecue and D'Bos chicken wings are available, and fans can also satisfy their appetites with sushi, paninis, po' boys and just about anything else they could possibly want.
Once in their seats, the first thing fans notice is the massive video board. Designed by Daktronics, the center-hung scoreboard is the focal point of the system, providing fans with live video, instant replays and information on 10 large digital full-color displays, including four dedicated scoring sections. The scoreboard is one of the biggest in the country, measuring approximately 22 feet high by 38 feet in diameter. The unique design of the main center-hung scoreboard includes two 36-degree full-color rings of LED on the top and bottom of the scoreboard. Four additional video displays, in vertical configuration, flank the main video screens and dedicated scoring sections.
To complement the center-hung video and scoring displays, additional LED displays are prominently featured around the seating bowl. These ProAd® digital displays are used for a variety of purposes, including presenting exciting animations and graphics, statistics, scores and stats from other games, and interactive promotional messages from the team and its sponsors. One 360-degree ring of light encircles the entire seating bowl, mounted on the Terrace Level fascia. A second large display curves 270 degrees around the Club Level fascia.
Before, during and after games, Tiger fans can buy the latest merchandise and U of M gear in the team store, located in the Grand Lobby and at several boutique stores throughout FedExForum. The store is also open from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Sunday, or can be reached by phone at 901-205-1551.
A unique feature of FedExForum is the music theme that is prevalent throughout. Luxury suite holders have their names engraved on a record outside their suite, and lyric sheets from famous Memphis songs appear prominently on the walls. Concessions and restaurants are named with uniquely Memphis music themes and areas of the arena concourses are divided into sponsored zones highlighting musical genres like Rock 'n' Roll, the Blues, Gospel, Memphis Music Today and more. FedExForum is also home to the Rock 'n' Soul Museum on the ground floor of the administration building. The Rock 'n' Soul Museum traces the roots of rock and roll and soul music in Memphis, offering visitors a self-guided tour of Memphis music from the early 20th century in the '70s. The Rock 'n' Soul Museum is one of only two Smithsonian Institution exhibits not located in Washington, D.C.
Along with the Grizzlies' locker room on the Event Level, the Tigers also have a state-of-the-art locker room facility just off the playing floor. The area has players and coaches locker rooms, a training room, video room and players lounge. The locker room is one of the best facilities in the nation.
FedExForum is setting a new standard for college arenas, and it's all happening in Memphis. There has truly never been a better time to be a Tigers fan.