DURHAM, N.C. - Duke University's Cameron Indoor Stadium, the crown jewel of college basketball's classic venues, has undergone a series of improvements this summer to enhance the gameday experience, while also retaining the revered qualities of the facility as it approaches its 70th year as the home of the Blue Devils.
"Immediately following last season, we encouraged the Duke Athletics staff to enhance the gameday experience within what is commonly referred to as the very best venue in college basketball," said Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White. "The results of that effort are outstanding. The fresh new look of the building does not compromise any of the traditional aspects that have long made Cameron Indoor Stadium the pinnacle cathedral for college basketball within our country. Needless to say, given these upgrades, we are all extremely excited about the upcoming season."
A reconfiguration of courtside seating will enable Duke to build on the existing spirited gameday experience for the student body. Graduate students will now be able to occupy seats in both the north and south ends of Cameron. This change will place some of Duke's most creative and energetic fans behind both baskets, giving the opposition a challenging shooting background during both halves of action. Undergraduate seating will be virtually unchanged as college basketball's best student section will remain courtside in Section 17. In the new configuration, the total number of seats available to undergraduate students on a game-by-game basis will be unaffected. Additionally, Duke was able to create premium seating for sponsors, donors, alumni and prominent guests located on padded blue seats directly behind the scorer's table.
In front of the undergrads will be a new state-of-the-art press table featuring 90-feet of LED (light emitting diode) technology. The new press row will improve crowding in the first row of the student section and features two aisles that will help fans and media members in and out of their seats at halftime and after the game.
One of the most visible enhancements came in the upper bowl of Cameron where all 5,649 seats were painted Duke blue in conjunction with an extensive pressure washing of the seats, concrete, railing and tunnels. Each of the distinctive brass railings that surround the arena will be refurbished prior to the beginning of the 2009-10 basketball season.
"Cameron Indoor Stadium is already one of the treasures in college athletics," said head coach Mike Krzyzewski. "Getting the graduate students behind both baskets, while keeping our undergraduate student section courtside, will create even more of a home court advantage for the team. We are fortunate to have the best fan base in the country, so to be able to enhance the gameday atmosphere is very exciting for our program. Personally, I love the new look of the stadium and can't wait to see it full of Cameron Crazies and Duke fans throughout the 2009-10 season."
Duke men's basketball fans will have their first chance to see all the updates to Cameron Indoor Stadium on Friday, Oct. 16 at Countdown to Craziness. The Blue Devils will also play exhibition games on Oct. 24 (Pfeifer) and Nov. 3 (Findlay) prior to opening the season on Friday, Nov. 13 against UNC-Greensboro.
"Cameron Indoor Stadium is already the most unique and special environment in which to play basketball, but the upgrades provide a dynamic, sharp and impressive look that further accents the Cameron mystique," said women's basketball head coach Joanne P. McCallie. "We just love the enhancements and the fans will too!"
The women's basketball team opens their season with a Blue-White scrimmage on Sunday, Oct. 25 at 1:00 p.m. They will face Wingate (Nov. 5) and Alaska Anchorage (Nov. 8) in exhibition games before opening the season on the road at Houston Baptists on Friday, Nov. 13. The Blue Devils' first home game of the 2009-10 season will be against Georgia Southern on Thursday, Nov. 19.