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One of the most intimate, beautiful and fan friendly arenas in all of NCAA Division I is Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum, home of East Carolina men's and women's basketball and volleyball. The cozy 8,000-seat arena gives the Pirates a distinct home court advantage.
Plans are in place to construct a 48,000-square-foot practice facility on the north end of Minges Coliseum and will include separate practice courts for men and women along with separate coaches' office suites, separate team locker rooms and separate team meeting rooms. It will also house the ECU Athletics Hall of Fame and an area specifically designed for Pirate Athletics' memorabilia for fans and visitors to enjoy.
Now in its 45th season of hosting Pirate basketball, the coliseum is connected to the second level of the Murphy Center by an indoor walkway. The floor inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum received a fresh look prior to the 2010-11 season with new designs and logos.
Constructed at a cost of $2 million, Minges Coliseum was dedicated on Jan. 27, 1968, in the name of the Minges family of Greenville, N.C. As owners of Pepsi-Cola bottling operations in Greenville, Kinston and New Bern, the Minges family has provided leadership and support of East Carolina University Athletics over the years, going back to the days when the late Dr. Ray Minges served as President of the Century Club (forerunner of the Pirate Club), from 1965-68. After 27 years of basketball, Minges Coliseum underwent a facelift prior to the 1994-95 season. The renovations, totaling almost $12 million, have made the arena one of the finest on-campus basketball facilities on the East Coast.
Williams Arena is named in honor and recognition of Walter and Marie Williams for their support of East Carolina Athletics over the years. As alumni of East Carolina College, Walter and Marie have endowed two Men's Basketball Position scholarships, the Spirit of the East Post-Eligibility Scholarship, and an unrestricted student-athlete scholarship on behalf of the University's athletics program. Further, through Trade Oil Company, the Williams family gave the first $1 million gift ever given to the Educational Foundation in support of ECU Athletics, through the Shared Visions Campaign. In addition to his financial support, Walter Williams has given his time unselfishly in support of the Pirate Club. During 1997-98, Walter served as Executive President of the Educational Foundation.
In addition to showcasing ECU basketball and volleyball, Williams Arena is also an outstanding venue for University and local high school graduation ceremonies, concerts and other entertainment events throughout the year. The arena previously served as home of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) Eastern Regional Boy's Championships. The Harlem Globetrotters, National Basketball Association (NBA) and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) have also visited Minges Coliseum throughout the years. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have also give speeches inside the coliseum.