remind CB of a few things (the fact that the USF student body was still on break notwithstanding). While there were less than 3,000 in attendance last night, War Memorial does seat 5,300.
Seating just 3,100, Pepperdine's Firestone Fieldhouse is the smallest WCC arena. Last year, Pepperdine announced the construction of a state of the art arena which will seat 5,000. No, that's not huge, but it's an upgrade of nearly 2000 seats. Further, it will have a practice gym in the same facility, 5-Star lodging, 5-Star dining, an alumni center, and loge seating. It will be extremely nice. Pepperdine has money, and apparently they are going to spend some of it.
Loyola Marymount has quietly gone through the permitting process, and is set to begin work on significant upgrades, including replacing their 4,156 seat Gersten Pavilion. While they have not announced the total seat number, estimates have put it between 5,500 and 6,000.
SMC announced more than a year ago that they are raising money for an expansion to McKeon Pavilion, which, along with Pepperdine's arena, is the only arena in the WCC that seats less than 4,000. Their plan is to knock out both walls, thereby adding just over 1,000 seats. That will bring their total to 4,500. Other technology and seating upgrades are also planned.
Pacific, which is re-joining the WCC next season after a 30+ year absence, regularly seats 6,150, but is expanded for major games up to 8,000.
You may scoff at some of these expansion plans, but keep in mind that like most private schools (BYU excluded) the average student body in the WCC is under 10,000. Duke, TCU, Xavier, Baylor and Gonzaga are all examples of private schools with arenas that seat 10,000 or less.
WCC schools are great academically, they are great in the Olympic Sports, and they have a very nice Men's Basketball tradition, although some of the programs that have had some historical success, like Santa Clara and San Francisco, have struggled lately, but are both in solid rebuilding cycles currently.
The WCC TV deal with ESPN is improving things in terms of athletic budgets for a number of the WCC schools. You can see this in the recent announcement of expansion plans.
With the recent expansion plans for Pepperdine, SMC, and LMU, the smallest 3 WCC arena's will jump from (currently 3100, 3500, and 4156) to 4500 (SMC), 4500 (Santa Clara), and 4852 (Portland). A total of nearly 5000 seats will be added to the smallest WCC arenas. The other 7 WCC arena's will all seat at least 5000.
Starting in 2013-14, the following WCC arena's will seat at least 5000:
San Diego (5100)
San Francisco (5300)
LMU (Between 5500 and 6000. In reality, this may not be completed until 2014-15).
No, this isn't going to compare with the arena size in the BIG 10. But it is an improvement. With the fact that all of our games are available via ESPN, BYUtv, or TWC/ROOT, I would imagine that you will see fewer BYU fans complaining. In terms of comparing to the MWC, while there are a number of large gyms there, none are as big as the Marriot. And Air Force (5700) and San Jose State (5000) are smaller than a number of WCC arenas. At 7200, TCU was not that big either. CSU seat 8700.
For those that want to keep on complaining about Arena size, that's fine. No one can stop you. But keep in mind, we do have an ESPN contract, and their are a number of nice expansion plans in the WCC.