James A. Rhodes Arena provides the Zips with a home-court advantage that rivals any facility in the Mid-American Conference. Also known as Rhodes Arena and the JAR, the facility is home to the men’s and women’s basketball teams, as well as the women’s volleyball squad.
All 5,500 seats in the arena are retractable to facilitate the use of the 18,000-square-foot floor for physical education activities, concerts, conventions and other special events.
Armchair seating is available on the lower level (1,323) and on the west-side upper level (773), while the remaining seats are bleacher style.
The main scoreboard, also called Zips Vision, features four Opto Tech 7.5′ x 10′ LED displays which showcase replays of the action on the floor plus other programming before, during and after the game. Opto Tech is one of the industry leaders in large scale video displays, whose sports clients include Major League Baseball’s Arizona Diamondbacks, Ohio State University, the University of Nebraska, and the Georgia Dome, home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.
The 2,600-square-foot Tommy Evans Memorial Lounge, used for pre- and post-game receptions and department functions, is housed on the south end of the second floor.
Rhodes Arena has played host to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Wine and Gold intrasquad scrimmage in the past, along with the LeBron James Skills Academy (showcase for the nation’s best high school players) and the LeBron James King’s Academy (youth camp). The King James Shooting Stars Classic (AAU tournament) also called James A. Rhodes Arena home at one point.
The men’s basketball program hosts the Zips Basketball School, the Offensive Skills Camp and Basketball Elite Workout camps, in addition to a Team Shootout. Under the direction of head coach John Groce and his coaching staff, the camps exhibit Groce’s emphasis on fundamentals, defense and hard work as the major components of being a great basketball player.
The JAR is also home to summer camps for Akron women’s basketball. The program holds a two-day team shootout and a four-day individual camp geared toward high school players of all skill levels, along with a Li’l Zips Day Camp and an Elite Camp.
The facility became the new home of The University of Akron’s athletics teams on Dec. 3, 1983. Opened prior to the 1983-84 season, the facility gave the Zips basketball and volleyball teams a modern indoor athletics complex.
Basketball Team Locker Rooms
The basketball team locker rooms are designed with comfort in mind. From the natural lighting from overhead windows to captain’s chairs at each player’s locker, student-athletes are able to relax before, during halftime and after the game. The men’s locker room is attached directly to the sports medicine office. Both locker rooms includes all-wood lockers and a lounge area with sofas and a flat-screen television.
Basketball Team Lounges
The men’s and women’s basketball team lounges features state-of the-art technology, including multi-screen audio/visual equipment for practice and game video analysis, and opponent scouting. The video systems, designed specifically to meet the needs of the Akron basketball program, is synchronized with equipment located in the existing coaching staffs’ offices to maximize efficiency in video study and game preparation.
The space in the lounge is flexible in its usability and supports a variety of functions, including team meetings, individual study time, social interaction and recruiting visits. Graphic elements emphasize the identity of the program and the branding of the University and Zips Athletics. Other amenities include study cubicles with computers and extra tall ceilings and doorways.
Rhodes Arena Weight Room
The 1,850-square-foot strength-training room gives the Zips a space for strength and conditioning training inside Rhodes Arena, allowing for the squad to better utilize training time without having to relocate to other buildings for weight room access.