Dean E. Smith Center, Chapel Hill

4.6
#6 of 16 in Things to do in Chapel Hill
The Dean E. Smith Student Activities Center (usually called simply the Dean Smith Center and popularly referred to as the Dean Dome) is a multi-purpose arena in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The arena is home to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Tar Heels men's basketball team, and temporary home to the women's team during renovations to Carmichael Auditorium. The arena opened in 1986.The arena is named after former North Carolina men's basketball coach Dean Smith, who coached the team from 1961 to 1997. Smith coached the last 11.5 years of his career in the arena, making him one of the few college coaches in any sport to coach in an arena or stadium that is named for him.General informationBy the early 1980s, there was a consensus that the Tar Heels needed a larger arena than the 10,180-seat Carmichael Auditorium. According to David Halberstam's biography of Michael Jordan, Smith did not want the arena named after him, but was persuaded by the UNC administration and the arena's backers that fundraising efforts for the facility could fail if they did not use his name. The first game at the new arena featured the #1 Tar Heels against the #3 Duke Blue Devils on January 18, 1986. Mark Alarie of Duke scored the first basket, but Warren Martin soon followed with the first Tar Heel basket in the new arena, Kenny Smith was credited with the assist. North Carolina ended up defeating Duke 95–92.
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Dean E. Smith Center Reviews
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101 reviews
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4.6
TripAdvisor
  • July 15, 2017
    I visited in 1992 and it has been upgraded so expertly! Enjoyed all the rings, trophies, uniforms and videos of games! Highlight of my trip!  more »
  • June 21, 2017
    If you're a college basketball jumkies, love UNC (like I do), you have to visit the Smith Center and take in a game or just tour around. There's lot's of championship banners in the rafters and jersey...  more »
  • June 1, 2017
    As the local expression goes: "If God is not a Tarheel, why is the sky Carolina Blue?" And so is the Dean Dome. If you have Carolina in your blood or Carolina envy, you must go here. Great to visit wh...  more »
Google
  • May 26, 2017
    Six or seven star worthy. Not a bad view from any seat, even all the way in the back. The atmosphere in here is electric. History made every day.
  • June 13, 2017
    Went for granddaughters graduation, seating was comfortable. Parking was handled well by staff or volunteers. Long way to walk unless handicapped. Nice stadium and sound system very good.
  • March 3, 2017
    I've been to so many games in the historic Dean Smith Center that I don't know how many I've actually attended. The place doesn't have a bad seat in the house, parking or getting to the stadium is well organized, the teams and coaches are amount the greatest of all time, & the university itself is not just one of the top institutions in the country but in the world. With all this going for the place you would think the fans would be loud and proud but they are as far from that as I've seen a college stadium. Roy Williams even complains about the fans. You would also assume such an educated group would know basketball and cheer and complain accordingly. This is also far from the truth. It's seems the only thing most in the Dean Dome are educated on is booing when a call didn't go their way or if they think they re being cheated. It's very sad this place and its fan base has lost one of its great assets in a phenomenal atmosphere. I do hope they can get it back one day. The staff that runs the place is very friendly. The only downfall would be the fans. Give me 1k seats w a rowdy and educated fan base and I'll give them 5 stars.
  • February 9, 2017
    Best college basketball arena in the USA. Seats over twenty two thousand people. Most all of the seats have good sight lines. Built in 1985 it's a large facility but without the private suites so the seats are closer and lower than in many of the newer facilities. Good food selection, merchandise store on-site.
  • June 21, 2017
    CNCSD University Cougars Tony Duval ACC Deaf College Basketball Player Family will receive an hour or sign contact us CNCSD University Cougars Tony Duval ACC Tournament Bracket March Madness Hoops Basketball game and I am going on with you and your team and we are not going anywhere from you soon as possible to do with my family and friends and relatives and I will have to go back CNCSD University Cougars Tony Duval Same Football and Women's Basketball Player Media Guide Yearbooks Men's Basketball game and I am going through my email address in your home address is being sent you an update on this page was last year and the kids are doing well Father with Son and daughters and my wife kava Moody Married Orrum Missionary Baptist Church Orrum NC 28369 I have been in business for sale in my opinion Central North Carolina School For the Deaf Cougars Trevon Duval Jr will sign contact us CNCSD University Cougars Trevon Duval Jr I am going through my email address in your area to get the best way for you to the right now and again I apologize for any reason to believe in God and his team to be able to make sure to get the best way for you and your family and friend of mine and your team and your mom and I need to see return Trevon Duval Jr will sign contact us to play working hard unit nba Draft pick up the phone with myself and my wife kava Moody the same time as the first time in my life and I am going on with you and your team and we are not going anywhere from you soon as possible to do with my family and friends and relatives and I will have to go back to unit NCAA Tournament Bracket March Madness Hoops Basketball game and ACC Tournament Bracket Hoops Basketball game and the kids are doing well Father with Son and daughters and my wife kava Moody the same thing for me call your mom and dad are you doing this to be able the same thing with you and your team and we are going through my mind is a very long time ago by a few days ago by the time I was wondering how much money you need anything from me know if you are looking at IMG Academy High School Pirates Boys Basketball Player Media Day Photo Picture Gallery of my favorite part of North Carolina in Greensboro NC 27410 the Deaf Tony Duval 34 years head coach for you wait for me call you tomorrow morning and evening and will be able to make it 12:00 am and 8:00 am 24 hours ago by a few days to come to my house in NCAA Tournament Selection Sunday Show up in NCAA Basketball Player Recruiting Freshman year Class of 2017 to be able the Deaf Alumni Cougars Tony Duval ACC Tournament in my life and the kids and the kids are doing well and good luck with that said that the best of luck with that said I should say the same thing as well and I will have to go to get the most important thing in common with you and your family

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