A state-of-the-art, multi-purpose facility, the Thomas M. Ryan Center opened its doors in June 2002 and hosts family entertainment, concerts, athletic events, trade shows, conventions and other community events. The Center seats 7,700 for basketball, and over 5,500 for standard concerts, family shows, and other events. The facility has 1,120 club seats as well as 7 private luxury suites. The Ryan Center was designed and built to meet all ADA specifications to accommodate our guests with disabilities. Located in Kingston, the Center draws on an audience of over 1.4 million people within a 40-mile radius.
Rhode Island lighthouses were the inspiration for the design of the three towers, marking the North and South entrances of The Ryan Center. Standing 86 feet high and located on the University of Rhode Island campus in scenic South County, the 200,000 sq. ft. building is home of the University of Rhode Island Men’s, Women’s Basketball Programs and University of Rhode Island Football Program.
The women’s basketball team won the first-ever regular season game in the Ryan Center, 53-39 over Kent State on Nov. 22, 2002, and four days later the men made their official debut in the building with a 73-71 overtime upset over the University of Southern California.
Ever since, the Ryan Center has been rocking with the men’s team drawing a standing room only crowd of 8,121 against No. 3-ranked Pittsburgh in 2002. The women’s team set its attendance record against St. Bonaventure on Jan. 16, with 3,402 fans.
The men’s basketball program at URI has won close to 70 percent of its home games since the 2002-03 season. The Rams victory on Nov. 25, 2011 over Hofstra was the 100th on the Ryan Center floor. Rhode Island has won 11 or more games five times since 2005-including a program-record 15 in 2009-10.
The main concourse of the Ryan Center provides an extraordinary view of Meade Stadium and the suite level features a private venue for prime viewing of all Ryan Center Events. The beautifully outfitted Alumni Room lounge is available as a function room for parties for up to 125 when events are not occupying the arena and is open to Priority Seat Holders with food and beverage service during basketball games. The Alumni Room is also home to the URI Hall of Fame. The luxury suites are exclusive and fully furnished, offering VIP treatment for up to twenty people.
The arena can also be subdivided to provide a half-house venue for smaller functions. The event floor seating retracts to provide space suitable for family shows or trade conferences. A portable stage is available for concerts and performance events and the event floor itself can seat up to 500 for a banquet.
Amenities include two state-of-the-art, full-color scoreboards with video capabilities. The house sound system, designed with acoustic provisions, provides a full range of high power sound to all seats in the venue including the concourse and Alumni Room, making it suitable for any event. In addition, 42 brand new LCD High Definition televisions were recently installed for the arena. These televisions are located around the entire arena including; the lobbies, concourse levels, suites levels, meeting rooms and artist dressing rooms.
The Ryan Center is owned by the University of Rhode Island and managed by Global Spectrum, the fastest growing firm in the public assembly facility management field, with more than 100 facilities around the world.