Watsco Center

Last updated
Watsco Center
BankUnited Center.JPG
Full nameWatsco Center at the University of Miami
Former namesRyder Center (construction/planning)
UM Convocation Center (2003–05)
BankUnited Center (2005–16)
Address1245 Dauer Dr
Coral Gables, FL 33146-2504
Location Greater Miami Area
Coordinates 25°42′54″N80°16′45″W / 25.71500°N 80.27917°W / 25.71500; -80.27917 Coordinates: 25°42′54″N80°16′45″W / 25.71500°N 80.27917°W / 25.71500; -80.27917
Owner University of Miami
OperatorOak View Group Facilities
Capacity 7,972 [1]
Broke groundApril 4, 2001 [2]
OpenedJanuary 4, 2003
Construction cost$48 million
($60.8 million in 2018 dollars [3] )
General contractor Turner Construction [4]
Miami Hurricanes (NCAA) (2003–present)
Miami Vice Squad (NIFL) (2007)
Miami Inferno (UIFL) (2014)

The Watsco Center (originally named the University of Miami Convocation Center) is a multi-purpose arena on the campus of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The venue hosts concerts, family shows, trade shows, lecture series, university events and sporting events, including all University of Miami men's and women's basketball games.

Arena enclosed area designed to showcase theater, musical performances, or sporting events

An arena is an enclosed area, often circular or oval-shaped, designed to showcase theatre, musical performances, or sporting events. It is composed of a large open space surrounded on most or all sides by tiered seating for spectators, and may be covered by a roof. The key feature of an arena is that the event space is the lowest point, allowing maximum visibility. Arenas are usually designed to accommodate a large number of spectators.

University of Miami private university in Coral Gables, Florida, United States

The University of Miami is a private research university in Coral Gables, Florida. As of 2018, the university enrolls 17,331 students in 12 separate colleges/schools, including the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine in Miami's Health District, a law school on the main campus, and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science focused on the study of oceanography and atmospheric sciences on Virginia Key, with research facilities at the Richmond Facility in southern Miami-Dade County.

Coral Gables, Florida City in Florida

Coral Gables, officially the City of Coral Gables, is a city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States, located southwest of Downtown Miami. The United States Census Bureau estimates conducted in 2017 yielded the city had a population of 51,095. Coral Gables is home to the University of Miami.


The Watsco Center is served by the Miami Metrorail at the University Station.


The arena opened in 2003 as the University of Miami Convocation Center, and is home to the Miami Hurricanes Men's and Women's basketball teams. Events held in the Watsco Center include concerts, sporting events, lectures, award shows, high school graduations, and Men's and Women's basketball games. It is the largest arena ever built on campus.

Miami Hurricanes intercollegiate sports teams of the University of Miami

The Miami Hurricanes are the varsity sports teams of the University of Miami, located in the Coral Gables suburb of Miami, Florida. In box scores for sporting events, the Hurricanes sports teams are usually referred to as Miami (FL) to differentiate from the Miami RedHawks, a Division I school in Ohio. They compete in the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). The university fields 15 athletic teams for 17 varsity sports. Men's teams compete in baseball, basketball, cross-country, diving, football, tennis, and track and field. Women's teams compete in basketball, cross-country, swimming and diving, golf, rowing, soccer, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. UM has approximately equal participation by male and female varsity athletes in these sports.

Basketball team sport played on a court with baskets on either end

Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball through the defender's hoop while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one or more one-point free throws. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play (overtime) is mandated.

In 2005, it was renamed the BankUnited Center, after Miami Lakes-based BankUnited. In 2016, Miami-based air conditioning company Watsco acquired the naming rights.

Miami Lakes, Florida Town in Florida

Miami Lakes is a suburb of Miami, an incorporated town and former census-designated place in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. As of 2010 US Census, 29,361 people live in Miami Lakes.

BankUnited, Inc., with total consolidated assets of $32.2 billion at December 31, 2018, is a bank holding company with one wholly owned subsidiary, BankUnited, collectively, the Company. BankUnited, a national banking association headquartered in Miami Lakes, Florida, provides a full range of banking services to individual and corporate customers. The Bank also provides certain commercial lending and deposit products on a national platform. The Company endeavors to provide, through experienced lending and relationship banking teams, personalized customer service and offers a full range of traditional banking products and services to both commercial and retail customers.

Watsco, Inc. is the largest distributor of air conditioning, heating and refrigeration equipment and related parts and supplies (HVAC/R) in the United States. Watsco was founded more than 60 years ago as a manufacturer of parts, components and tools used in the HVAC/R industry. Under the leadership of its current CEO, Albert H. Nahmad, from 1973 to 1988 Watsco grew from US$5 million in revenues to US$25 million. In 1989, the company shifted its focus from manufacturing to distribution by acquiring Gemaire Distributors Inc., a South Florida-based Rheem distributor. By 1997, Watsco added other OEMs to the mix and moved into commercial refrigeration as a result of the acquisition of Baker Distributing Company. Watsco divested its manufacturing business in 1998, selling it to International Comfort Products Corporation, now part of Carrier Corporation (Carrier). Revenues increased from US$64.1 million in 1989 to US$4.2 billion in 2016 via a strategy of acquiring companies with established market position and subsequently building revenues and profit through a combination of adding locations, products, services and other initiatives.

Prior to the opening of the Watsco Center, the school played its games at the Miami Arena since its opening in 1988.

Miami Arena Arena in Florida, United States

Miami Arena was an indoor arena located in Miami, Florida.


The 2007 issue of Venues Today, one of the entertainment industry's leading publications, reports that the Watsco Center outperformed all but one other venue in Florida in its size category for number of concerts and touring events held in 2006. [5]

See also

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  2. Palm Beach Post Wire Services (April 5, 2001). "Finally! Work to Start on UM Basketball Arena". The Palm Beach Post . Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  3. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  4. "What's on Deck?". Sports Business Journal . Advance Publications. July 30, 2001. Archived from the original on November 12, 2013. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  5. Palmer, Heidi M. (April 4, 2007). "University of Miami's BankUnited Center Ranks Second Among Florida Venues By National Magazine". University of Miami News. Archived from the original on May 23, 2011. Retrieved January 31, 2009.