The Minnesota Golden Gophers have been making a few tweaks to Williams arena this offseason. First they removed all of the media seats from courtside and turned them into new premium seating areas for fans. They the removed most of the media seats from the front row of the upper deck (with the exception of the radio booths) and turned those areas into premium seats. The Gophers converted Section 203 in the upper corners of the upper deck to the new media area due to its proximity to the Williams Arena media room. (Less walking, but much crappier views as a trade off).
However, the most noticeable change for Gophers fans was revealed on Monday when the Gophers tweeted out pictures of the new finish the Williams Arena court will have in 2018-19.
A fresh new look for The Barn. pic.twitter.com/syGDWLDtO0— Minnesota MBB (@GopherMBB) August 6, 2018
Compare that to last season’s court:
The first thing you immediately notice is the lack of a maroon sideline. Secondly you notice the court is significantly lighter than in previous seasons, more of a white/gray than a tan/brown. Next is a much more minimalist font on the Minnesota on the sideline and Golden Gophers on the baselines. Finally instead of a Block print Williams Arena with the Barn in smaller font below between half court and the three-point arcs, you get a script font writing out “The Barn” much larger than the small block Williams Arena below.
The font changes are not a huge deal, and the emphasis of the Barn nickname is a plus in my opinion. But that color of the floor is a stark change from what Gopher fans have been used to. The lack of the maroon border is even more stark. For most younger Gopher fans, they can’t ever remember a version of the barn without the distinctive maroon sidelines. But, for our older members, this new version of the court may look similar to the ones of their youth. Take this picture from February 1973 and the Gophers warming up before their game against Iowa.
This is what the Williams arena floor looked like for the first 45 years or so of its history. So in some ways, the new court design is somewhat of a throwback to that period. It will take some getting used to, but we all know what happens on the court, not the design of the court is what will really matter in just a few months.
And besides, at least it doesn’t look like this monstrosity:
Let us know what you think of the new design? Like it? Hate it?