Kaplan Arena (formerly William & Mary Hall), Constructed 1969-1970

Formerly known as William & Mary Hall, Kaplan Arena is an indoor arena at William & Mary that hosts university-wide events such as concerts, Charter Day ceremonies, Commencement exercises, and Tribe intercollegiate athletic events. The inside arena is an 8,600-seat multi-purpose venue that was named in 2005 in honor of basketball benefactors Jim and Jane Kaplan. The arena hosts men's and women's basketball, men's and women's gymnastics, and volleyball games. The building also contains weight rooms, practice facilities, and the Athletics Department. At their September 2016 meeting, the Board of Visitors voted to rename the whole building in honor of the Kaplans.

The need for a large, modern athletic arena had been identified by William & Mary in its long-range planning and the idea gained traction in the budgeting cycles of the 1960s. Construction of William & Mary Hall began in September 1969 and, when completed, replaced Blow Gym as the university's primary athletic facility.

Sly and the Family Stone was the first band to play a concert there in 1971. Other notable performers include the Grateful Dead, James Taylor, Deep Purple, Neil Young, REM, and The Police. In 1993, HRH Prince Charles participated in Charter Day celebrations here. Before online registration for classes was introduced, students would wait in line to register for classes at the Hall each semester. The arena was home to the Wightman Cup tennis competition from 1983-1990 when top women’s tennis players including Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, and Jennifer Capriati competed. The Wightman Cup Room is located on the mezzanine level of Kaplan Arena.

Images

William & Mary Hall, 2015

William & Mary Hall, 2015

The exterior of William & Mary Hall in 2015. | Source: University Archives Photograph Collection, UA 8. | Creator: College of William and Mary. View File Details Page

William & Mary Hall under construction, circa 1970

William & Mary Hall under construction, circa 1970

A photograph of the exterior of William & Mary Hall during its construction from 1969 to 1970. | Source: University Archives Photograph Collection, UA 8. | Creator: College of William and Mary. View File Details Page

William & Mary Hall, 1977

William & Mary Hall, 1977

The exterior of William & Mary Hall in 1977. | Source: University Archives Photograph Collection, UA 8. | Creator: College of William and Mary. View File Details Page

Summit of Industrialized Nations, 1983

Summit of Industrialized Nations, 1983

A scene from the Summit of Industrialized Nations which took place in William & Mary Hall in 1983. | Source: University Archives Photograph Collection, UA 8. | Creator: College of William and Mary. View File Details Page

William & Mary Hall Aerial, Fall 1988

William & Mary Hall Aerial, Fall 1988

An aerial photograph of William & Mary Hall in the fall of 1988. | Source: University Archives Photograph Collection, UA 8. | Creator: College of William and Mary. View File Details Page

William & Mary Hall, 1996

William & Mary Hall, 1996

The exterior of William & Mary Hall in 1996. | Source: University Archives Photograph Collection, UA 8. | Creator: College of William and Mary. View File Details Page

William & Mary Hall, undated

William & Mary Hall, undated

The exterior of William & Mary Hall. | Source: University Archives Photograph Collection, UA 8. | Creator: College of William and Mary. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary., “Kaplan Arena (formerly William & Mary Hall), Constructed 1969-1970,” TribeTrek, accessed June 26, 2017, http://tribetrek.wm.edu/items/show/54.
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