SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Especially compared to Weiser Gym, the Panthers' previous home of more than 60 years, there is definitely a major "wow" factor when you enter the ground-level concourse of the O'Reilly Family Event Center and look down on a $13.5 million, 3,100 seat state-of-the-art facility, complete with a video board, private suites, a team store, a hall of fame, and a banquet room. They're all amenities you'd never find at Weiser.
"Weiser was a wonderful place to watch a basketball game," said Edsel Matthews, Drury's vice-president of athletic affairs and chief fundraiser for the new arena. "It had great tradition and a cozy, old-fashioned atmosphere but it wasn't much good for anything else. It had poor heating and no air conditioning. It served its purpose and it's time to move on."
The move next door to the Family Event Center is certainly more fan-friendly, from more bathrooms to concession stands in an open-air concourse.