The Dean E. Smith Student Activities Center,
usually called simply the Smith Center
and popularly referred to as the Dean Dome
is a multi-purpose arena
in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
. The arena is home to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Tar Heels men's basketball team
, and temporary home to the women's team during renovations to Carmichael Auditorium
. The arena opened in 1986.
The arena is named after former North Carolina coach Dean Smith
, who coached the team from 1961 to 1997. According to David Halberstam
's biography of Michael Jordan
, Smith did not want the arena named after him, but was persuaded by the UNC administration and the arena's backers that fundraising efforts for the facility could fail if they did not use his name.
The arena originally seated 21,444. Seating adjustments brought capacity to 21,572 in 1992 and 21,750 in 2000.
The largest crowd to see a game in the Dean Dome was on March 6, 2005, when 22,125 fans saw the Tar Heels win 75-73 against Duke
The arena is somewhat spread out, making the seats seem far from the floor. However, the sight lines throughout most of the arena are very good, as they are almost the same as those of Carmichael. The only obstructed seats are in the upper rows of the lower level, where the view is partially cut off by the upper level's overhang.
The first game at the Dean E. Smith Center featured the #1 North Carolina Tar... Read More