CLEMSON -- Clemson University's Littlejohn Coliseum is undergoing renovations, not only in its physical structure, but also its management structure.
The coliseum, previously managed by Clemson's athletic department, will now be managed by the University Union and Student Center in collaboration with the athletic department. The new management system will make Littlejohn a multi-purpose facility that can serve as a venue for a variety of events.
The University Union and Student Center will handle all scheduling, event planning, security, maintenance and customer service for the building, aspects which were handled separately in the past. A full-time staff and a staff of students will be hired to meet these needs.
"We can make Littlejohn more than just a pretty place," said Marty Kern, director of major events for Littlejohn. "We can renovate not just the bricks and mortar, but the way we do business, the way we think, the way we educate and the way we collaborate."
In addition to Clemson basketball games, Kern hopes to see
the coliseum used as a venue for concerts, family events, semi-professional sporting events, pageants, expos and trade shows, gala banquets, graduation ceremonies and career fairs. The $31 million renovations added a separate basketball practice facility, which will enable the teams to practice when Littlejohn is being used for other events, providing more flexibility for booking events year-round.
"This new management for Littlejohn is truly a 'One Clemson' idea that will certainly increase the events and activities for our campus," said Almeda Jacks, Clemson's vice president for student affairs. "We should be able to broaden the type of events, entertainment opportunities and academic activities for the campus, community and the entire state. This will be an opportunity to showcase Littlejohn and, of course, that translates into showing off our campus."
The renovations included a new roof with a rigging capacity
of 120,000 pounds, four new dressing rooms, a new and
enlarged media and catering area, an increased storage and loading area and upgrades to all mechanical, electrical and life safety equipment. The size of the concourse was tripled, which will provide new areas for smaller events and banquets.
The renovations also included many amenities for fans, such
as twice the number of restrooms and concessions stands, a
new guest-services area, new cushioned seats and improved
"These renovations create possibilities," Kern said. "We can once again be very attractive to promoters and event planners. We will have the amenities they need and the staff and services they require."