The Bert L. and Iris S. Wolstein Center, often called "The Convo", is an indoor arena located in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States, on the campus of Cleveland State University. It is home to the Cleveland State Vikings men's and women's basketball teams and the former home of the Cleveland Crunch and Cleveland Force of the NPSL and MISL. The building opened in 1991 as a replacement for Woodling Gym and was known until 2005 as the CSU Convocation Center. It is named for Bert L. Wolstein, a Cleveland State alumnus. The main arena is known as Henry J. Goodman Arena, and is named for a former CSU trustee. It seats 13,610 for basketball, and with additional floor seating can hold 15,000 for concerts and professional wrestling. In addition to the arena, the Wolstein Center also has a practice gym and grand ballroom. It is the largest basketball arena in the Horizon League and the second-largest college basketball arena in Ohio by seating capacity.
|Former names||CSU Convocation Center (1991–2005)|
|Location||2000 Prospect Avenue|
Cleveland, Ohio 44115
|Owner||Cleveland State University|
|Operator||Cleveland State University|
|Capacity||13,610 (8,500 for CSU games)|
|Broke ground||August 1989|
|Opened||November 1, 1991|
|Construction cost||USD$55 million|
($126 million in 2018 dollars)
|Architect||URS-Dalton Consultants, Cleveland, Whitley/Whitley Architects, Cleveland, OH|
Cleveland State Vikings (NCAA) (1991–present)
Cleveland Crunch/Force (NPSL/MISL) (1992–2005)
In recent years, Cleveland State has downsized capacity for basketball to 8,500 for most Vikings games. The basketball floor is placed closer to the eastern baseline, and the western third of the arena is curtained off. For many games only lower level seating is available and upper level seating sections are covered with tarps, further reducing available seating. The area behind the curtain is used for a variety of other purposes, including a "Kids Fun Zone" children's play area during games, and the curtain itself is adorned with various banners facing the court.
The Wolstein Center has also hosted numerous concerts, featuring artists such as David Bowie, Elton John, Martina McBride, TLC, Carrie Underwood, Justin Bieber, Janet Jackson, and Twenty One Pilots. The arena was site of the 1998 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships and served as host for first and second-round games of the 2000 and 2005 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournaments as well as the 2019 NCAA Fencing Championships.,
Construction on the Wolstein Center began in August 1989 in the aftermath of the team's run to the Sweet Sixteen in the 1986 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. Prior to its opening, the team played at Woodling Gym on campus or at the 10,000-seat Public Auditorium. The arena was completed on November 1, 1991 at a cost of $55 million. The 13,610 seats made the Wolstein Center the largest arena in downtown Cleveland until the opening of Gund Arena in 1994, and it was the largest university-owned arena in Ohio until 1998 when Value City Arena opened at Ohio State University.
The main arena is named the Goodman Arena after Henry J. Goodman, former chairman of the Cleveland State board of trustees, while the building is named after Bert and Iris Wolstein, who donated $6.5 million towards the building's construction, the largest philanthropic gift in CSU history. The building also contains a practice gym, a 23,744 square feet (2,205.9 m2) grand ballroom, six-room conference center, and eight concession stands. In the arena, there is a 100-seat party loge located above the seating in the west baseline.
The Wolstein Center has been the site for first and second-round games of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, in 2000 and 2005. In the 2005 tournament, the 12th-seeded Milwaukee Panthers and 7th-seeded West Virginia Mountaineers won both of their respective games played at the Wolstein Center to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. The 1998 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships were also held in the arena, won by the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Twice the arena has hosted conference basketball tournaments. Both the 1992 Mid-Continent Conference men's basketball tournament and the 2002 Horizon League Men's Basketball Tournament were held at the Wolstein Center.
NBC News held a Democratic Party presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on February 26, 2008 at the Wolstein Center. The debate was broadcast live on MSNBC, and was moderated by Brian Williams with Tim Russert.
The Wolstein Center also hosted multiple professional wrestling events from numerous companies, including WWE's Monday Night Raw on January 26, 2009, and Friday Night SmackDown on December 28, 2010. World Championship Wrestling also held numerous events (including episodes of WCW Monday Nitro) at the center until WCW's folding in 2001, and TNA Wrestling's weekly Impact Wrestling program taped two weeks worth of shows on August 29, 2013.
In 2016, the arena hosted the Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions.
In 2015, it was announced that CSU had an agreement with the management of Quicken Loans Arena (popularly known as "The Q"), where The Q would essentially take over operations of the Wolstein Center, promoting and booking events at the venue, while in return select Vikings men's basketball games would be played at The Q.
- Wolstein Center review - Stadium Journey.com
- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 2, 2019.
- "Wolstein Center Seating Diagram (Single Games)". CSUVikings.com. Cleveland State University. 2013. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
- Wolstein Center - Global Spectrum.com
- Bishop, Greg (March 12, 2009). "Cleveland State's Healing Begins With an N.C.A.A. Bid". The New York Times. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
- "Promoter's Guide" (PDF). Global Spectrum. 2010. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
- Clinton-Obama debate - MSNBC.com
- Clinton-Obama debate - NY Times.com
- Impact Wrestling at the Wolstein Center - Impact Wrestling.com
- "2016 Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions takes center stage beginning Sept. 15". usagym.org. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
- Q-CSU deal - The Q Arena.com