WVU Coliseum Court Receiving A Makeover
As the WVU Coliseum approaches its 50th birthday, its court is getting a new design.
West Virginia unveiled the new look Thursday in what will be the sixth major graphic redesign for the court since the facility opened nearly a half century ago.
“We looked at a number of different things but the one thing we wanted to accentuate was the Flying WV, which we’ve done with this design,” said WVU director of athletics Shane Lyons. “And then shadowing into that is the state, of which we’re very proud.
“The one thing we didn’t want was a floor with a complicated design,” he added. “We wanted it to be a very clean, classy look as opposed to it being too busy.”
A small group consisting of Lyons, deputy director of athletics Keli Zinn, executive senior associate director of athletics Steve Uryasz, senior associate athletics director Michael Fragale and associate athletics director April Messerly considered a dozen or so different designs developed by the athletic department’s graphic designer Kristin Coldsnow, with assistance from publications director Joe Swan and Fragale.
A dozen quickly was whittled down until a final design was selected.
The first court design for the Coliseum when it opened in 1970 lasted 20 years, and prominently featured the letters WVU running diagonally through the middle of the state at the center jump circle with West Virginia painted in white along the baselines. The color scheme was mainly blue with a white outline.
The second design, which saw the introduction of the script West Virginia, the addition of the Flying WV in a gold jump circle and the removal of the state outline, lasted just one year before transitioning to a third design in 1992. The Flying WV and script West Virginia logos remained, and the blue outline of the state returned, making them the defining elements of this design. The baselines featured gold “Mountaineers” in white trim and “Atlantic 10” painted in white in front of the two free throw lines. Once again, the floor’s predominant color was blue.
The fourth design during the years 2001-08 was probably the Coliseum’s most elaborate, with gold basketballs painted in the middle of the two free throw lines and the lane areas shaded in blue. The Flying WV in blue was placed in the center jump circle and “Big East” logos were located just outside of the three-point lines before moving into the lanes in a later iteration. “Mountaineers” in gold was painted along the sidelines and the script West Virginia was placed on the baselines. There was more gold in this look than the prior three designs.
The most recent Coliseum floor design featured even more gold, with a blue Flying WV at the center jump circle and the Big 12 logos painted in blue in the lane area. “Mountaineers” in gold remained along the sidelines and newer, white versions of West Virginia outlined in blue were placed on gold baselines.
“I looked at our floor and thought over the last couple of years, seeing games on TV, our floor started looking dated,” Lyons said. “They went to lighter floors then and the light kind of bounces off of it and ours has that yellowish tint that looked dated a little bit.”
Lyons said he considered redesigning the floor last year, but he decided to delay it until the new Nike rebranding process was completed earlier this spring.
“It went hand in hand with the Nike branding,” he explained. “The floor has to be recoated each year so now was the time to redo it.”
The new design brings back blue as the predominant floor color with a large Flying WV in the center of the court behind a shadow of the state. “West Virginia Mountaineers” is displayed in gold along the two baselines with “West Virginia” painted along the bench sideline and “Mountaineers” painted along the student section side of the arena.
The lane area is once again blue (trimmed in gold for the first time) with the Big 12 logos also outlined in gold. The wordmarks are the new ones established during the Nike rebranding process.
Additionally, a silhouette of mountains will appear along the sideline in front of the student section, but it will be difficult to see on game day because the lighting and courtside seating will obscure it.
“We wanted ‘Mountaineers’ on both ends, the conference logo and picking up the gold and blue in the lanes,” Lyons said.
Once the committee pared down the design, Lyons took it to coaches Bob Huggins, Mike Carey and Reed Sunahara to get their opinions.
“Their responses were it was clean and classy,” Lyons said. “They liked the tone of it, which is a lighter looking floor, and we think that will make it pop a lot more on TV.”
Ledford Sports Floors has been contracted to paint the floor, scheduled to begin on Monday, June 10. Work should take approximately a month.
There could be some slight modifications based on the distance of the men’s and women’s three-point lines, which will be determined early this summer.
“I don’t want the three-point lines touching the silhouette of the state,” Lyons said.
“Everybody has different tastes. That’s why when you go into a clothing store you have different types of clothes. There are different types of cars. Everybody has different opinions, but from what we are trying to do with our uniforms with a clean, sleek, classy look, this goes right with it,” Lyons concluded.