Happy 37th Birthday To The University of Wyoming’s Arena-Auditorium
Happy birthday to the Dome of Doom. Wyoming's iconic Arena-Auditorium opened 37 years ago today, on February 20, 1982.
The first crowd at the 'Double A' was also one of the largest. The final game of the 1982 regular season drew just over 15,000 fans. The Pokes gave them something to cheer about that night, crushing Air Force 59-29 in route to their second-consecutive NCAA Tournament birth. It was the first of 16 sell-outs at the venue. Over the years, 77 Wyoming basketball games have drawn crowds over 10,000.
The Arena-Auditorium attendance record was set March 2, 2002, when Wyoming battled Utah for the Mountain West Conference title in front of 16,089 fans. The game lived up to its billing as the Pokes prevailed 57-56. Wyoming later advanced to the NCAA Tournament before losing to Arizona in the second round.
March 31, 2007, the Wyoming Cowgirls became the first Mountain West Conference team to ever win a postseason tournament, defeating Wisconsin for the WNIT Championship in front of 15,462. The game sold out in under 14 hours and set a record for the largest crowd to ever attend a women's sporting event at Wyoming. It was the second-largest crowd in the history of the AA.
At an elevation of 7,220 feet, the Arena-Auditorium is the highest Division I basketball court in the country. That home court advantage has helped the Pokes win over 70 percent of their games in the Dome of Doom.
The Arena-Auditorium has also hosted several notable concerts and events. Elton John has performed twice at the AA, headlining benefit concerts for the Matthew Shephard Foundation on June 1, 1999, and April 3, 2009.
March 7, 2008, then-Senator Barrack Obama spoke at the Arena-Auditorium while campaigning for President. During the rally, Obama joked that "security here is so tight, Pistol Pete had to give up his guns." Former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and John F. Kennedy have also visited the University of Wyoming, but Obama is the only President to ever speak at the AA.