Oct. 15, 1999
The University of Memphis begins its ninth season in one of America's most striking and unique arenas, The Pyramid. The Tigers moved to The Pyramid in 1991 after spending 27 years at the Mid-South Coliseum.
The Pyramid has proved to be quite a home court advantage for the Tigers as they have compiled a 102-27 (.791) record in their first eight seasons, including a 17-0 mark in 1994-95. The Tigers won a Pyramid record 34 straight games in the pointed house from 1994 to 1996.
In their eight seven seasons at The Pyramid, the Tigers have played 22 games against ranked opponents and are 11-11 in those contests. Memphis has also had 26 nationally televised games from The Pyramid.
The arena has played host to the 1993 Great Midwest Conference Tournament, the 1995 & 1997 NCAA Southeast Regional and the 1996 Conference USA Tournament. The Pyramid will continue to be in the national spotlight in the coming year as it will serve as host of the C-USA Tournament and the NCAA Women's Mideast Regional.
This $65 million facililty was officially dedicated on November 29, 1991, at the Tigers' season opener against DePaul University on ESPN television. Memphis dignitaries, GMC officials and television star Cybil Shepherd all played a part in opening the arena.
On Septmber 15, 1989, the fall of a 75-foot, 600-pound, lighted shovel signaled the ground-breaking of The Pyramid in what was termed "The Big Dig." The shovel was dropped from a helicopter to The Pyramid site and erupted in a flame of fireworks.
Capitalizing on its prime location, The Pyramid showcases a 360-degree panorama of Memphis, the river and the lush Mississippi Valley to provide an unusual but beautiful touch to the Memphis skyline. This architectural marvel, clad in 6.9 acres of stainless steel, is a cooperative effort of the city of Memphis, Shelby County and the University of Memphis. The Pyramid stands 321 feet high on the east bank of the Mississippi River in downtown Memphis.
The Pyramid, which is one of the largest Division I-A arenas in the country, hosts basketball games, concerts and many other major entertainment events. The arena has a seating capacity of 20,142, including 200 seats for the mobility impaired, 200 wheelchair spaces and 28 private suites.
Highlighting its contents is one of the finest locker room facilities in all of basketball, including the NBA. This 2,200-square foot room is equipped with a lounge and team meeting area, dressing room, training room and storage area. In the dressing room each player has his own personal vanity and locker, while the lounge area is furnished with couches, a 35-inch color television, a stereo sound system and a color pull-down projection screen. It also has an entrance way that includes a stainless steel door and a lighted U of M logo that hangs on a marble wall.
A video display system which has replay capabilities was installed prior to the 1998-99 season. The matrix scoreboards the new system replaced were moved to the arena's concources.
The scoreboard itself is equipped with the ability to display player fouls and points for each player on the floor and a statistics program which includes monitors on press row which gives up-to-the-minute individual and team stats.
In addition, there are two sideline auxiliary scoreboards and four message centers. At the top of each basket is a game clock, which includes tenths of seconds, and a shot clock.
All-Time Pyramid Records
Yearly Attendance in The Pyramid Year G Average Total NCAA Rank Record 91-92 16 16,142 258,272 8th 12-4 92-93 17 15,107 256,822 12th 14-3 93-94 16 11,205 179,274 33rd 10-6 94-95 17 9,765 166,006 - 17-0 95-96 17 14,235 241,996 16th 16-1 96-97 15 11,980 179,703 - 11-4 97-98 15 13,427 201,398 18th 11-4 98-99 16 13,913 222,605 20th 11-5 Total 129 13,225 1,706,076 - 102-27
Top Attendance Games 1. Nov. 29, 1991 vs DePaul 20,142 Dec. 14, 1991 vs Tennessee 20,142 Jan. 8, 1992 vs Missouri 20,142 Feb. 8, 1992 vs Arkansas 20,142 Feb. 6, 1993 vs Cincinnati 20,142 Feb. 27, 1993 vs Marquette 20,142 Dec. 8, 1993 vs Arkansas 20,142 Jan. 18, 1996 vs Arkansas 20,142 Feb. 25, 1996 vs Louisville 20,142 Jan. 10, 1998 vs Arkansas 20,142 11. Mar. 7, 1992 vs Cincinnati 20,078