DAY 25 (Aug. 25): Basketball Accepts Bigger Stage
Nothing is certain but death and taxes… and for the past two decades, 20-win seasons from Azusa Pacific men’s basketball.
Since 1993, the Cougars are one of just three four-year collegiate men’s basketball programs to post 20 consecutive 20-win seasons. The only others are Georgetown (Ky.) and Oklahoma Baptist, which both compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Azusa Pacific, however, is putting its streak of 20-win seasons on the line on a bigger stage — literally.
The average arena seating capacity for games during Azusa Pacific’s 2012-13 season more than doubles the average capacity of the Golden State Athletic Conference gyms it played in a year ago. With its transition to the NCAA Division II’s Pacific West Conference for the 2012-13 season, the Cougars’ home arena – the Felix Event Center – goes from easily being the largest facility in the GSAC to the fifth-biggest in its new league. The average capacity of GSAC gyms in 2012 was 1,935, while the average gym capacity of the 14-member PacWest Conference seats over 1,000 more people (2,996 average).
Azusa Pacific’s 2012-13 men’s basketball schedule has the Cougars avoiding three of the four smallest venues in the PacWest, and the non-conference slate features two season-opening games at Seattle Pacific’s Brougham Pavilion (2,650 capacity) along with another two games at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, which features 9,500 fixed seats. As a result, the average capacity Azusa Pacific will play in front of this year is 3,958.
After hosting 12 of Azusa Pacific’s regular-season games in 2012-13, the Felix Event Center will serve as the host site of the inaugural PacWest men’s & women’s basketball championships next March. The Felix Event Center and its seating capacity of 3,500 ranks behind the following PacWest gyms:
Neal S. Blaisdell Center (Hawaii Pacific): 7,700
GCU Arena (Grand Canyon University): 5,000
Burns Arena (Dixie State): 4,779
Cannon Activities Center (BYU Hawaii): 4,500