The 3,700-seat Covelli Center serves as a home and competition facility for seven of Ohio State’s varsity sports programs, including volleyball, gymnastics, fencing and wrestling. In addition, the facility will occasionally serve as a venue for women’s basketball and as the host site for local tournaments, competitions, concerts, banquets, camps and academic graduations. The master plan had called for several independent facilities, each with its own development costs and infrastructure requirements, but the mid-size hybrid Covelli Center implements a sustainable shared-use facility solution instead.
The Covelli Center provides many amenities, including robust support spaces, training spaces, film rooms, equipment storage and laundry spaces. The facility can accommodate multiple flooring layouts by way of retractable seating on all four sides. Lighting strategies and environmental graphic design seek to enhance the student-athlete experience through quality interior environments.
The arena maintains a low profile, as the main concourse is level with the surrounding site. Half of the building volume is below grade. Spectators enter the facility and then descend into a lower seating bowl. The bow of the roof structure just over the seating bowl helps to define and highlight the core event space, as well as give the sense of a larger arena experience.