The Liston B. Ramsey Regional Activity Center was completed in April 1986 and was dedicated on December 6 of that year to a standing-only crowd of 8,114 as West Carolina hosted Carolina State North on the men’s basketball hardwood. The first official game in the new building took place two days before as the women’s team defeated Mars Hill on December 4, 1986, by a score of 65-61. In 1999, the Ramsey Center also became the home of the WCU volleyball team.
During the summer of 2021, the Ramsey Center ground was dubbed ‘Ingles Court’, furthering the long-standing corporate partnership between Ingles Markets and Catamount Athletics. Read the full version here.
More commonly known as the Ramsey Center, the on-campus building serves as the headquarters of Catamount Athletics as it houses most of the athletic department offices and the athletic training facility. It is the home of Catamount volleyball during the fall and hosts Catamount men’s and women’s basketball during the winter months. Locker rooms for basketball, volleyball, baseball and the Dale and Diane Hollifield football locker room are also housed within the friendly confines with a myriad of locker rooms and locker rooms that allow for multiple events and tournament hosting .
In addition to athletics facilities and the main arena, the Ramsey Center has a large, all-pitch auxiliary gymnasium, as well as handball and racquetball courts. There is a large hospitality room which is used for a variety of events including pre-match receptions, meetings and press conferences.
Designed to host cultural, recreational and sporting events, the facility can accommodate over 9,000 people. The impressive multi-purpose facility – one of the largest of its kind west of Charlotte, NC – was built at a cost of $16.3 million and has more than 205,000 square feet of floor space . A network of movable curtains and adaptable staging allow the Ramsey Center to grow from a full-scale arena to a large auditorium, or a more intimate space for smaller meetings.
Shows such as Aerosmith, Alabama, Billy Currington, Chicago, Fabolous, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Lorrie Morgan and Nappy Roots have performed at the Ramsey Center. Other featured appearances include the Harlem Globetrotters, appearances by the New York City Opera, Los Angeles Ballet and the Acting Company, and talks from famous personalities like Pat Summitt and former presidential candidate Bob Dole. The flexible nature of the building has allowed it to host a variety of events ranging from horticultural and craft conventions and meetings to indoor rodeos, monster truck shows and professional wrestling.
The Ramsey Center is the site of the University’s graduation ceremonies each December and May, and also hosts open houses and orientation events throughout the year.
Over the years, the WCU men’s basketball team has hosted games with NCAA powerhouses such as Kansas, Florida State, South Carolina, and North Carolina State.
The WCU has hosted the Southern Conference Volleyball Championship several times and has also won multiple SoCon Basketball Championships at the friendly Ramsey Center. The 1995-96 men’s team captured the South Division title on home soil while the 2008-09 team captured a share of the North Division title with a home victory over Chattanooga. In 2006-07, the women’s basketball team won a share of its first-ever SoCon regular season title on home soil, cutting the net at Ramsey Center to commemorate the occasion.
Over the years, the Ramsey Center sports hall and locker rooms have been improved. From 2006 to 2007, the men’s and women’s basketball locker rooms were renovated and expanded. New wooden lockers and carpeting were added, along with player lounges including couches and entertainment centers.
Ahead of the 2007-08 season, programs unveiled the stadium’s new cinema room (pictured below) with high-backed chairs and state-of-the-art video equipment used for team meetings, movie screenings and as a post-game media interview room.
The Ramsey Center Auxiliary Gymnasium has also seen upgrades in both
In 2006, Daktronics computerized margin tables and updated scoreboards were added to help improve the fan experience at all home events.
Benefactor and namesake of the arena:
The West Carolina arena was named for Liston B. Ramsey, former Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives and longtime representative of the 52nd District which included the mountainous counties of Haywood, Madison, Swain, Graham and Jackson – the latter of which is where Cullowhee is. His career in political service spanned the better part of four decades.
Born in the Walnut community of Madison County in 1919, Ramsey began his political life in his hometown of Marshall, North Carolina after World War II. In 1960, he was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives where he served 19 consecutive terms in the state legislature and became one of its most influential members.
In 1981, Ramsey was elected Speaker of the House and would serve four terms in that position; he was the first legislator in North Carolina history to serve four terms as president. During his tenure as president, he worked to transfer state funds to often overlooked mountainous western North Carolina counties, building roads and other public facilities that would not have existed. other. The building that bears his name was one of his greatest accomplishments as he strived to secure funds for construction.
Liston B. Ramsey died on September 2, 2001.
Quick facts about the Ramsey Center:
Devotion: December 6, 1986
First Game / First Women’s Basketball Game: December 4, 1986 – West Carolina 65, Mars Hill 61
First men’s basketball game: December 6, 1986 – North Carolina State 96, West Carolina 75
First victory in men’s basketball: Jan. 5, 1987 – West Carolina 90, Tusculum 58
First volleyball game: September 1, 1999 – Georgia State 3, West Carolina 2
First volleyball victory: September 7, 1999 – West Carolina 3, UNC Asheville 1
Best assists in men’s basketball:
1. 8,114 – vs. North Carolina State (6/12/86)
2. 6,024 – vs. Appalachia State (02/06/10)
3. 4,765 – vs. College of Charleston (1/25/10)
4. 4,577 – vs. Appalachian State (02/26/96)
5. 4,343 – vs. Chattanooga (1/14/06)
6. 4,217 – vs. Georgia Southern (10/2/07)
7. 4,121 – vs. Appalachian State (02/28/04)
8. 4,107 – vs. Appalachia State (01/28/02)
Best Women’s Basketball Attendance: 2,178 vs. Chattanooga (2/10/07)