New WVU Coliseum floor design tells clean and classy story

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — The Allegheny Mountains could have blanketed the WVU Coliseum floor, giving the playing surface a rough and rugged look that would not have been easily forgotten.
The lanes could have been a mosaic of old gold and blue, looking more like a Pablo Picasso work than a spot for Derek Culver to shoot free throws next season.
In the end, West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons put his stamp on the Coliseum’s new design that was unveiled Thursday by simply not going out of bounds.
“One of the things we discussed as a committee when we first took on the project is what kind of a story do we want to tell?” Lyons said. “How do we want our state and our university represented through the design? We wanted something that told the story of West Virginia, but wanted to keep the look clean and classy.”
The new surface, which will be put in this summer and will be ready for the start of the 2019-20 season, is a combination of state and school pride, as well as a nod to what would help fans see the action best on TV.
“One hundred percent the look on TV played a part,” Lyons said, adding he had heard feedback the previous floor had too much gold, making it difficult for viewers to see the plays around the baskets.
Mountain ridges stretch along the length of one sideline against a blue background, but is not overwhelming.
Center court is a combination of the school’s Flying WV on top of the state’s outline that nestles between both 3-point lines.
The lanes are both blue trimmed in gold and the fonts used along the baselines and sidelines are courtesy of Nike.
“I didn’t want something too busy, but we also wanted to do something that people could pick up who we are from a branding standpoint,” Lyons said.
Other schools — most notably Oregon and its forest design — have taken a different approach with their basketball courts.
Good or bad, the bold approaches get people and likely potential recruits talking.
“It was certainly discussed to go that way,” Lyons said. “I just wasn’t sure that’s who we wanted to be. To each their own and different people certainly are going to have different opinions. It’s like buying a car. Not everyone agrees on what the best car is.
“We understood that we were making a decision for the masses and that’s not always an easy thing to do.”
Lyons said the early feedback on the new look has been positive.
“Our graphic team did a great job,” he said. “This is kind of the fun part of the job, but it was also nerve-racking, because we were trying to come up with something that everyone in our entire state could be proud of.”
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