published Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Concerts push UNC Greensboro games to Sunday

UNC Greensboro head coach Wes Miller shouts courtside.
UNC Greensboro head coach Wes Miller shouts courtside.
Photo by Staff File Photo.

UNC Greensboro basketball coach Wes Miller's wife, Ashley, went to see Justin Bieber perform at the Greensboro Coliseum last Saturday. Miller did not attend the show, but he could have.

While 10 other Southern Conference teams played Saturday at 7 p.m., UNCG and Furman had to wait until Sunday at 2 p.m. to play their weekend game because Bieber took priority over a Spartans home game.

"You're talking about one of the premier facilities not just for college basketball, but for entertainment, in the Southeast," Miller said. "I'm not a Bieber fan, but my wife certainly took advantage of that perk.

"There are certainly going to be some conflicts, and anybody that plays in a facility like the coliseum understands those conflicts."

The Greensboro Coliseum is the biggest home arena in the SoCon with seats for 23,500 when an Atlantic Coast Conference team uses it and about 7,600 for SoCon home games. The Spartans also have a locker room in the facility and practice there about 50 percent of the time.

Seating capacity for home games in the SoCon range from the Coliseum's wide-open spaces to the intimate environment of Elon's Alumni Gym, which seats 1,607 and has the scoreboard low enough to block a true three-quarter-court shot.

"It gets really loud here in Alumni Gym," said coach Matt Matheny, whose Phoenix will entertain the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on Thursday. "I feel that our students have embraced this team to the point where we have a very good home-court advantage. It's becoming a tough ticket."

The toughest ticket in the SoCon this weekend may be getting into Greensboro Coliseum to see the Zac Brown Band. As of dinner time Tuesday, StubHub.com had 115 tickets available, ranging from $63 to $307.

That concert has pushed back UTC's game at UNCG from Saturday night until Sunday at 2 p.m.

Mocs coach John Shulman isn't happy about the delay, but he understands because dozens of practice sessions in UTC's home arena have been moved for the likes of the Globetrotters, "Disney On Ice," Cher and Elton John.

"The loudest gym isn't Greensboro," Shulman said. "Elon can get loud, and Davidson can get loud, and Elon is for us is the most difficult because everybody is on top of you. I don't like that we have to stay an extra day to play Greensboro. But I understand. You have to do what you have to do."

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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