Home of the Panthers
Bill Battle Coliseum has been the home of Panther basketball since the 1981-82 season. Erected at a cost of $3.2 million, the coliseum is part of the larger Edward L. Norton United Methodist Center that houses the offices of the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church. The facility was renovated in the summer of 2001 to add over 300 seats, bringing the capacity of the arena to 2,000. The new seating brings the fans closer to the floor and adds a section of end zone seating along the east wall of the arena.
The coliseum is named in honor of Bill Battle Jr., Birmingham-Southern’s athletic director from 1952 until his death in 1972. Coach Battle was highly regarded by the BSC campus community as an excellent coach and dedicated teacher and leader.
Also housed in Bill Battle are the women’s basketball and golf offices and the athletic training facilities and offices.
Considered as one of the toughest home courts in the country, the men’s basketball team has a 90-percent winning advantage in the arena.
Raucous fans fill the stands on a regular basis at Bill Battle Coliseum. The picture shown is part of the contingent of Panther fans on hand for the Big South Conference regular season championship-clinching win over VMI on Feb. 28, 2004.
BSC set a new single-season attendance record in 2003-04 and attracted the two largest single-game crowds in school history with over-capacity numbers in home wins over Winthrop and VMI.
The main playing arena is just the tip of the iceberg for the men's basketball program. One of the previous Panther playing surfaces, the old gymnasium, is adjacent to Bill Battle Coliseum and is accessible from the Coliseum by way of a convenient underground corridor.
The old gym, remodeled in 2000 and renamed the Bill Burch Gymnasium, features a full-court practice gymnasium, visiting locker rooms for basketball teams, the BSC men's basketball locker room, an athletics weight room and training facility, and offices for men's basketball, men's soccer, women's soccer and cross country.
The men's basketball locker room is both modern and elegant, featuring individual wooden lockers, leather sofas and television and video technology for viewing game film and scouting reports on opponents. The locker room is conveniently located just steps away from the main arena floor in the Striplin Sports Center.
The women's basketball locker room was recently remodeled and features wooden lockers and a state-of-the-art sound system.
Visitors are also given top-notch amenities at Birmingham-Southern. Two visitors locker rooms don the Striplin Sports Center, both just steps from the Bill Battle Coliseum playing surface. Each features individual lockers, dry-erase boards, video and computer capability and full-service rest room and shower facilities.
Bill Battle Coliseum also houses the T.B. Pearson Sports Hall of Fame and the Athletic Weight Room, featuring state-of-the-art training equipment as well as standard free weights.
One unique feature of Bill Battle Coliseum and of BSC basketball games is the rowdy student section known as the Panther Pit. BSC students gather there for games and offer friendly advice to opposing players, coaches and referees during the action.