The Georgia State Sports Arena serves as the “Home of the Panthers” for both men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and the Athletic Department offices.

Construction for the Sports Arena, located at the corner of Decatur Street and Piedmont Avenue in downtown Atlanta, began in 1972, mainly for physical education classes and to provide students with a recreation center. The men’s basketball team played the first games in the arena in 1973. The Arena is just one block from the State Capitol and Underground Atlanta, as well just two blocks from Peachtree Street.

            The gymnasium floor is located on the third level and is the home court for those three sports. Seating for basketball is accessible on both the third and fourth floors, while team locker rooms, remodeled and renovated in 2005, are on the second floor. The main Athletic Department is on the second floor.

            On Dec. 12, 2003, the playing surface was officially named Charles “Lefty” Driesell Court in honor of State’s former men’s basketball coach. A ceremony honoring Driesell took place during halftime of the Panthers’ 88-56 victory over the University of South Alabama.

            During the summer of 2004, a new playing floor was laid down for the basketball and volleyball teams to enjoy. The floor is freshly painted, as are many of the walls in the arena.  During the 2002-03 basketball seasons, a new, four-sided scoreboard was added, along with a new scorer’s table. For the 2006 basketball season, a huge video signage board was installed on the south end wall.

            Another recent improvement to the arena was a new Student-Athlete Learning Lab, which opened on the first floor to provide space for the 225-plus student-athletes for advisement, “power hour” study halls, tutorial assistance, and a computer lab.

            Over the years, the Georgia State Sports Arena has hosted several other events besides basketball games and volleyball matches. Following are some of those events:

           The 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta used the Sports Arena for all the badminton competition.

           ESPN’s 14th Annual College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships, which took place in conjunction with the 2002 men’s Final Four down the road at the Georgia Dome. The celebrity judges included NFL QB Michael Vick, boxer Evander Holyfield, and music star Jermaine Dupre.  In addition, the Sports Arena also hosted the 2007 edition of the competition.

           Pop band *NSYNC sold the facility out for an exhibition basketball game before Atlanta hosted Super Bowl XXXIV at the Georgia Dome in 2000

           Performances by entertainers Jay Leno, Dana Carvey, Jamie Foxx, The Spinners, the Beastie Boys, Cheap Trick and the Harlem Globetrotters are among the hundreds held over the decades in this facility.

           Georgia State graduation ceremonies as well as high school ceremonies are held here. Noted speakers like Secretary of State Henry Kissinger have addressed the graduates.

           Championship Tournaments have been held here. Georgia State hosted three conference championship tournaments here, while high school tournaments have crowned champions here. Summer camps are annual events as well.

Please click here for a photo album of the Georgia State Sports Arena, showing outside images, inside configurations, and the Learning Lab.