UCSB Athletics Announces 'Thunderdome 35' Celebration

UCSB Athletics Announces 'Thunderdome 35' Celebration

To view an "Our Stories" video about the Thunderdome, click here.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UCSB Athletics is proud to announce that it will celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Thunderdome (Events Center) over the next two seasons.

The campaign will be marked by the hashtag #thunderdome35 on marketing materials and within special commemorative basketball season tickets.  Season tickets for the 2012-13 year will showcase some of the greatest players to wear the Gaucho blue and gold for both the men's and women's program.  In 2013-14 the season tickets will honor the great moments in Thunderdome lore.

“With the students and our donors we have put some needed internal upgrades into our storied home,” said UCSB Director of Athletics Mark Massari.  “I'm excited to use this anniversary celebration, especially with the backdrop of 40 years of Title IX, as a way to continue this partnership to improve it more. It's a special place full of great memories. It definitely has a heart.”

Home to women's volleyball, men's and women's basketball and occasional men's volleyball matches, the Thunderdome has witnessed numerous incredible moments and has seen women's teams excel since the landmark Title IX passage in 1972. Women's volleyball was one of only four programs (Along with Stanford, Penn State and Nebraska) to appear in the first 26 NCAA tournaments. The women's basketball program, built into a power by legendary retired head coach Mark French, has currently appeared in the post season 16 of 18 years, highlighted by a sweet sixteen run in 2004. Carlene Mitchell, who led the program to its 14th NCAA tournament in her first season, now leads the Gauchos.

The name Thunderdome was coined in the late 1980s when the men’s basketball program began its rise to prominence under Jerry Pimm.  The program went to five postseasons under Pimm and has gone to six under UCSB’s winningest coach of all-time, Bob Williams.  Williams has led four of his last five teams into postseason play, including two of the last three NCAA Tournaments.

The Thunderdome currently has eighty championship and postseason banners hanging from its rafters.  UCSB Athletics events are among the main attractions at the Thunderdome, which is also used for concerts, major university events, classes and student recreation.

Two new basketball “Legends of the 'Dome” are planned for the upcoming celebration to join the legacy of Legendary Gauchos already unveiled over the past three years. 

The Thunderdome will be in full use this week as the UCSB women’s volleyball team will play three home matches.  On Wednesday, the Gauchos host Pepperdine in a non-conference match.  On Friday and Saturday, they host Cal State Northridge and Hawai’i respectively in Big West contests.  All start times are 7:00 p.m at tickets are available at the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, by calling 805-893-UCSB (8272) or online by clicking here.