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  • Lloyd Brown

Pete Maravich Assembly Center – LSU Tigers


Photos by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.86

Pete Maravich Assembly Center N Stadium Rd Baton Rouge, LA 70893


LSU Tigers website

Pete Maravich Assembly Center website


Year Opened: 1972

Capacity: 13,215

 

Geaux Big Or Geaux Home

The 2021-2022 season marks the 50th season that LSU men’s basketball has been played in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on the LSU campus. Originally called the LSU Assembly Center, it changed names following the death of LSU basketball icon Pete Maravich in 1988.


Maravich never played in the building during college but did play in it during his pro career, as the Atlanta Hawks played a preseason game there. The capacity of the arena is 13,215, with 4,300 lower-level seats, 7,000 upper-level seats, and just under 2,000 seats on risers. The Maravich Assembly Center is known by many nicknames, including Pete’s Palace or the “PMC” for brevity’s sake.


The LSU basketball program has been a prominent program in both the SEC and at the national level for its entire existence. The 1935 team won the National Championship, and teams since then have made 23 NCAA Tournament appearances, gone to 4 Final Fours, and participated in 8 NIT Tournaments. They have also won 11 SEC Conference Championships. Standout players for the Bayou Bengals include Bob Pettitt, Pete Maravich, Chris Jackson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Ben Simmons. Both Pettit and O’Neal have statues in front of the Tigers practice facility.


Food & Beverage 3

The food and beverage offerings are very average at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. This is a big disappointment, as most Louisiana sports venues offer some traditional Cajun dishes at their concession stands. The only item we felt met this definition was a sausage po’boy sandwich for $8.


Most of the concessions at the Assembly Center come from major food distributors like Pizza Hut, Burger Smith, and Chick-fil-A. The generic stands offer hot dogs ($4), nachos ($5), popcorn ($5), and pretzels ($5.50). Coca-Cola brand sodas are $4.50 for a 12 oz cup and Dasani water is $5.50.


Liquor is available at LSU basketball games. The Maravich Center offers both Miller and Budweiser products for $9. Craft brews from local brewery Tin Roof’s Voodoo are $10.


Atmosphere 4

The Pete Maravich Assembly Center can be an intimidating place to play for visiting teams and their fans. Before you even enter the building, you must pass Mike the Tiger’s habitat and statues of Bob Pettitt and Shaquille O’Neal that are either blocking you or dunking on you.


Once inside, you are faced with one of the largest gyms in the SEC, all fitted out in the purple and gold team colors of LSU. On average, the Tigers will have more than 10,000 fans doing everything they can to confuse you and make communications from the bench hard to hear. Hanging above you is a monster scoreboard measuring 43’ X 20′ along the sidelines and 24’ X 20’ facing the baselines. The rafters are full of championship banners and banners saluting Tiger basketball greats. This is all before the games even begin.




Neighborhood 3

The Pete Maravich Assembly Center and the LSU campus are located just south of downtown Baton Rouge. Its on-campus neighbors include Tiger Stadium, Alex Box Ballpark, and the Bernie Moore Track Stadium.

The LSU campus borders an area known as the North Gate community. This area offers many of the services a college student would utilize. This includes coffee shops, restaurants, and school supplies.


Fans 4

The Maravich Assembly Center can be an intimidating place to play or watch the game. The LSU fans (especially the student body) can raise a racket in what TV analyst Dick Vitale calls the “Deaf Dome.” The outfits they wear are as loud as their cheers and jeers. They wear purple and gold colors as a sign of athletic royalty and are clad in all manner of tiger stripes.


Helping the student body to channel its collective energy at opponents is the Bengal Brass Basketball Band, which plays endless rounds of “Tiger Rag.” Accompanying the band during the breaks in the action are the LSU Tiger Girls dance team and the Tiger mascot. Your ears will be ringing after an afternoon or evening in Tiger Town.



Access 3

The Pete Maravich Assembly Center is easy to get to from multiple directions. It shares most of the street signage with its neighbor, Tiger Stadium.


From I-110: Take the Government Street exit to St. Phillips Street. Go south on St. Phillips (becomes Nicolson Drive) Take Nicolson to Stadium Road and the parking lot for the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

From I-10: Take the South Acadian Thruway South exit (becomes Stanford Drive) Get in the right lane of Stanford Drive and merge onto West Lakeshore Drive West Lakeshore becomes Stadium Road. Park in the lot designated for the Maravich Assembly Center.


Once inside you will find the concourses to be wide and easy to navigate. The concourses are broken into four segments. They are the Pete Maravich Pass, the Walk of Champions, Heroes Hall, and Midway of Memories. Each section highlights a different aspect or sport within the highly successful LSU athletic empire. Think of it as an interactive history tour. These partitions will also help you identify which section your seat is in.


Return on Investment 5

The lower-level seats at the Maravich Center are filled with season ticket holders and the student section. Individual game tickets are sold for the upper level of the seating bowl. Tickets in the upper level of the PMC go for $15 for Upper Midcourt, $13 for Upper Court, and $10 for Upper Baseline for most of the games.


LSU does implement flex pricing of tickets for games against Kentucky or a nationally ranked opponent from outside the SEC. This can raise the prices by 30 percent. Parking for basketball games runs $8-$15 depending on what lot you park in. The food at the PMC is very inexpensive.


Extras 5

Shariff O’Neal, Shaq’s son, plays forward on the current Tigers squad. Both Bob Pettitt and Shaquille O’Neal have been honored with statues in front of the LSU Basketball practice facility.


After Hurricane Katrina, the Pete Maravich Assembly Center was used as a triage center. It was the largest triage center in US history with 800 beds. The PMC is the largest concert venue in Louisiana outside of New Orleans.


The Maravich Assembly Center has hosted two NCAA Men’s Regionals, seven NIT games, and four NCAA Women’s First and Second Round games.


Final Thoughts

Any trip to Tiger Town can be intimidating. The main sports venue of Tiger Stadium (football), Alex Box Stadium (baseball), or the Maravich Assembly Center (basketball) each create a decibel level that makes it hard for visiting teams to communicate. The purple and gold color schemes that are predominant in these buildings will constantly remind you that you are competing against sports royalty. Overall, the Maravich Assembly Center provides an excellent return on your money.





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