History

Welsh-Ryan Arena on the Northwestern campus in Evanston, IL is the home of the Northwestern men’s and women’s basketball teams, the Northwestern wrestling team, and the Northwestern volleyball team. The arena seats 8,117 and opened in 1952 to replace Patten Gymnasium.

Welsh-Ryan Arena opened as McGaw Memorial Hall and was named after American Hospital Supply Corporation founder Foster G. McGaw. In 1983, the arena underwent a major renovation, which increased the arena’s capacity from 7,070 to 8,117 and was renamed Welsh-Ryan Arena after the principal donor Patrick G. Ryan and his wife’s parents Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Welsh, Sr. More recently, the arena’s practice facility was remodeled in 1997, and the Brown Family Basketball Center was added to the building in 2007.

In addition to being the home of the Northwestern Wildcats, Welsh-Ryan Arena was the site of the 1956 Final Four.

Historic Events