20 Years of Ritchie Center: 10 Things we Love

Williams Tower. The gold steeple has become an iconic Denver landmark

-Whispering Lip Sculptures in the south courtyard. Sure they sometimes don’t whisper but who cares – they’re cool.

-Student hockey Ticket Campout when anticipation turns to action before the start of hockey season.

-The West-facing Front-Range View from the CIBER field grandstands, especially colorful fall sunsets during fall soccer matches.

-The Athletic Department’s Gottesfeld Room feels like a church for athletics with massive stonework and vaulted ceilings – hosting various athletic awards, hockey buffets and special announcements.

-The new Hockey Locker Room. The stunning facility is state-of-the-art while honoring DU’s hockey culture, history and stars. (While not 20 years old, it felt like it took 20 years to get done.)

Winter Hockey Nights at Ritchie Center. The smell of cinnamon, pucks hitting the boards and the familiar faces of the ticket takers and ushers, several who have been there as long as the Ritchie Center.

-The Three-Ring-Circus when Magness Arena, Hamilton gym and the El Polmar Natatorium all have events going on at the SAME time.

-Championship finals Sendoffs from the north side circle as the charter bus drives away with Championship hopefuls.

-Student Lacrosse Tailgate that brings an unmatched energy to the Campus. No football – but this is DU’s ‘Gameday’

Of course, none of this would be possible without the vision and determination of Dan Ritchie. He knew that athletics could be the anchor to begin the rebirth of DU.

So what did we miss? Tell us your favorite memory of the Ritchie center.

3 thoughts on “20 Years of Ritchie Center: 10 Things we Love”

  1. Great list, 5BWest! For me, my additions to your list would include:

    1. Those very special just-after-a-big DU goal moments when team is celebrating just in front of the the jacked-up DU student section at a DU vs CC hockey game. Seeing those 800 DU students filling the section higher towards the ceiling, standing shoulder-to-shoulder as classmates, together in same white shirts, making maximum noise, shaking the Megaboone banner with the DU pep band playing the DU fight song in the middle of them. In those moments, DU is unified as one student body and there may not be a happier sight to these old eyes. These are the moments the students will remember, long after the classroom knowledge fades…

    2. The center ice scoreboard – installed in recent years, I love that it’s big enough to actually see the instant replays with HD quality. If DU added more historical DU sports content, better score updates from around the country (not just NCHC) and a higher quality sound system to complement the video content, it would be perfect.

    3. The football and baseball display cases in the main concourse are very well done and give you a real sense of nostalgia for old time DU school spirit. Those old faded DU pennants, program covers, the old flat football, the great locker doors, pinstriped baseball jersey and the old black and white photos always fill me with pride whenever I pass by.

    4. Fans can’t really see it, but I love the written reminder to visiting teams about Denver’s mile high altitude, which is located near the players entry to the ice/court. If even one visiting player’s thought pattern is affected, it’s so worth it.

    5. I love it when the 65-carillon bells in the Williams Tower play the DU fight song before a game as reminder that the Pioneers are about to play for all of us. It’s a real collegiate moment. We need more of that!

    1. Has the carillon bells playing D-Rah ever been recorded? Would love to hear it and play it on Game Day here in SoCal!

      1. Not sure if anyone has recorded it. But that is something DU should put on its web site for fans to download!

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