Health and Sports Center
Recognized nationally as one of the best venues to watch Division II athletics, the Health & Sports Center offers the campus, community and region a variety of sports opportunities.. Containing nearly 400,000 square feet of space, the Health & Sports Center offers first class opportunities for individuals as well as team growth and competition.
Packed with a multitude of health & sports options, the Center integrates all features expected in a comprehensive facility. An athletic weight training room holds state-of-the-art equipment. Athletic training and sports medicine and rehabilitation rooms on the lower level. A spacious wrestling room is on the same lower level as well. Administrative and coaching offices for the athletic department are predominately located in the Health & Sports Center west concourse upper level.
With a capacity seating of 5,600 The Health & Sports Center is the largest sport specific facility west of Lincoln in the state of Nebraska and is one of the largest athletic arenas in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association. More than 400 seats are dedicated to seating for students during Loper events with the remaining seats distributed among reserved and general admission season ticket holders.
The Health & Sports Center is located in the heart of the UNK campus and is a crossroads for academic buildings connecting east and west campus. Adjacent to the Center is the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. Within these confines, students enjoy access to Cushing Coliseum, a student weight room, aquatic center, racquetball courts and much more.
The Health and Sports Center has served as a host venue for several NCAA Regional and NCAA Championships including the 2005 NCAA Division II Volleyball Championships; 1995, 2007, and 2011 NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships and the 2007 & 2008 NCAA Division II Women’s Elite Eight. In 2000, President Bill Clinton visited the arena and addressed a capacity crowd of 6,100 over the topic of public education and the value it has within our country. In 2004, the late NCAA president Myles Brand visited the facility and quoted, “This University is a poster child for doing things right at the Division II level; its facilities are second to none among its peers.”
In 1911, athletes built the first gymnasium which was the universities first indoor facility. “The Barn”, as it became lovingly called was a wooden building, 60 x 80 ft, with a dirt basketball court, a practice baseball field, and a 75 yard cinder track. During basketball season, truck loads of hay bales were brought in for seating. The Barn was torn down in 1916 when the college began construction of a new gymnasium (now Copeland Hall). However, progress was halted with the start of World War I and was not finished until late 1918. The first color housed calisthenics, a swimming pool and locker rooms while the gymnasium was on located on the 2nd floor.
Today, the Health & Sports Center is home to UNK Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Volleyball and Wrestling. Throughout the year, many other regional events take place in the facility including Mister & Misses Basketball, Nebraska School Activities Association Events, University Commencement, concerts, various youth camps and many more events.
It is no secret that the Lopers play well at home, winning an astonishing 86% of games played in the facility.
Campus Map ()
UNK Address: 905 West 25th Street, Kearney, NE 68849
UNK Campus Driving Directions
From Interstate 80: Take Exit 272, Kearney. Turn onto NE-44 North/North 2nd Avenue and drive 2.3 miles. Turn left onto U.S. Highway 30/West 25th Street and drive 0.5 miles until you arrive at the UNK campus.
Continue on U.S. Highway 30/West 24th Street until you reach the west edge of campus. Turn right into the parking lot between the College of Business and Technology West Center building and the softball fields. Parking for the Frank House is located at the north end of this lot.
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