POSTED ON 11/2/09
The University of Minnesota will officially dedicate its new Connor hardwood playing surface at Williams Arena on Thursday, Nov. 5.
Mike Dale, Facility Director at Williams Arena and The Sports Pavilion, said 8,000 square feet of Connor’s RezillChannel™ flooring system was selected to create the floor. The Connor court will be the new competition floor for the University of Minnesota “Golden Gophers” Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams. Built in 1928, Williams Arena does not have climate control.
“Connor’s goal was to supply the university with a floor that combines outstanding performance together with excellent stability and safety,” said Ron Cerny, President and CEO of Connor Sport Court International. “It is indeed a prestigious addition to our extensive list of colleges and universities utilizing a Connor playing surface.”
The surface is constructed of first grade Northern Hard Maple as classified by the Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association (MFMA). Connor Sport Court is a founding member of the MFMA and adheres to the stringent environmental guidelines of that organization. Connor also offers wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which identifies products from responsibly-managed forests. Hardwood used in the court is from a renewable resource, with the U.S. growing six times more hardwood than is harvested each year. For more information go to www.connorfloor.com.
The installation of the floor was by Connor’s dealer, Athletic Performance Solutions, Scott Johnston, owner. The Athletic Performance Solutions sales representative on the project was Nick Flood. Representatives from Athletic Performance Solutions and Connor who worked on the project will be recognized at Half Time during the Golden Gophers first home game of the 2009 – 2010 season on Nov. 5.
The University of Minnesota is located in the heart of Minneapolis. It was founded in 1851 and is recognized as among the top six public research universities in the nation.
Williams Arena has been the home of Golden Gopher basketball for 81 years. “The Barn,” as it is affectionately called, was the largest college arena in the country from 1950 – 1971. Many renovations, facelifts, and fire code changes over the years have decreased the seating capacity from its original 18,025 down to 14,625.
Long known as a difficult place for visiting teams to play because of a three foot elevated floor located very close to the spectators, the Gophers have a .715 home court winning percentage.
Over the years, the Gophers have won eight Big Ten championships, had 20 different All-Americans, and 41 players move on to play in the NBA.
“The original floor made this project very unique. It consisted of six foot by twelve foot panels that were elevated and supported by cement piers. After the old surface was successfully removed, RezillChannel was installed over a new concrete substrate that had been poured to maintain the original three foot elevation,” said Ron Dudzik, Midwest Regional Manager for Connor.
“Athletic Performance Solutions did a great job on a challenging project, and we are extremely proud of the finished product,” Dudzik said.
“Since the installation, feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. The athletes appreciate the performance of the new floor, especially the consistent ball rebound which the old Williams Arena floor was not known for,” said Nick Flood of Athletic Performance Systems.