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Saying goodbye to BEMC

Hey everyone. The final men's game in the history of Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum will be held this evening. The women? They might make the Women's NIT ... crazy as it may seem.

Still, it's been a memorable 42-year run for a coliseum that cost roughly $6 million in 1967.

If that's not enough for you, here's a (remarkably unattractive) timeline that hits many of the concrete monster's high points. She surely wasn't pretty. She did get the job done for a long time on a relatively meager investment.


Blogger cincytiger said...

Good article, Jay.

7:35 AM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...


7:37 AM  
Blogger Scott M. Brannan said...

delayed BEMC substance!


7:37 AM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

I will not miss The Beav. At all.

7:40 AM  
Blogger Scott M. Brannan said...

i'm sure JG. she ain't pretty. as a Health Promotion major nearly half my classes were there. plus the 2 years i was a trainer i spent a lot of time there.

it's hard to imagine that just 10 years ago students had to get there 1-2 hours early to get a good seat. and yes, i was one of those students. the 'Cliff Dwellers' were a fun bunch of folks. well, during my time anyways.

7:44 AM  
Blogger Peter Frankenschmidt said...

Jay G,

You planning on attending the baseball doubleheader in the cold?

7:46 AM  
Blogger IV said...

I saw games in the barn and I saw games in the Beav. It seems like another small piece of Auburn history has come to an end. I don't know when I will see a game in the new facility but I hope to be able to as soon as possible. I am so sorry that the names of Joel Eaves and Jeff Beard will not be attached with the new coliseum. They were two great men who did wonderful things for Auburn sports. Farewell to a great old lady.

7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it true if Auburn wins against both Miss. State and Alabama this week, Auburn's men will win the SEC West in basketball?

7:52 AM  
Blogger Scott M. Brannan said...

i never got to go inside the barn. my 1st game/weekend as an Auburn student was the weekend she burnt to the ground. 1996 vs LSU.

7:56 AM  
Blogger Ephemeral said...

It really was hot in there when I graduated.

Good luck and a hardy War Eagle to the baseball and basketball teams today.

7:56 AM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

No. Not true.

MSU is 9-5. Auburn is 5-9. Can't catch 'em.

7:57 AM  
Blogger Ephemeral said...

Regarding previous comment, hot inside Beard-Eaves, not the Barn.

I remember going to a couple of lectures in the Barn, but I never saw a game there.

7:58 AM  
Blogger ehyou said...

BEMC had no redeeming qualities.


8:00 AM  
Blogger Norm said...

It was definitely hot inside the barn when AU played LSU in '96.

8:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks. I hadn't had time to look up records and I figured one of you knew the answer.

8:02 AM  
Blogger WarEagleRK said...

I won't lie, I'll miss the place.

8:20 AM  
Blogger chip chip said...

i've always unaffectionately referred to BEMC as "the dump". that was fitting considering the bball team laid a log there frequently for all to see. it's pretty bad when chris porter is your highlight of the last 20 years. they should have taken some of the old seating and moved it to the visitors' section of the new arena. that would give any opposing fans back problems after a few trips and they would quit coming and give AU a better home court advantage. they should raffle off the chance to be the one who drops the match or swings the wrecking ball to bring it down for good. i'm sure hoping the bball will be up to the level of the new arena in a few years.

the finale at the dump is brought to you by u-haul. u-haul, supporting your ex-coach since your fired him. and now the latest member of the u-haul family, jeff lebo!!

8:22 AM  
Blogger chip chip said...

ehyou, did you know that the creators of phineas & ferb are from mobile, al? they supposedly based the show off of their life experiences and people they knew growing up here. if you are one of the creators, then you already knew this useless info.

8:27 AM  
Blogger Seanzie said...

I wonder if student ticket sales will still be manual and only cost 2 dollars with those with ID?

8:30 AM  
Blogger Norm said...

I love Phineas & Ferb (probably more than my 3 y/o F4*). I didn't know that trivia but did see that Dan Povenmire directed an episode of Family Guy I saw recently.

8:33 AM  
Blogger michael said...

Why are the handicapped parking spaces at Walgreens always further away from the entrance than the non-handicapped spaces? How is that legal?

8:46 AM  
Blogger chip chip said...

maybe we are the ones who are truly handicapped.

8:49 AM  
Blogger ehyou said...

Didn't know that Chip, but that's very cool.

I'm disenchanted with most TV, but this one I love. I watch it even when the kids aren't around.

8:58 AM  
Blogger Seanzie said...

I finally saw an episode of the Office I hadn't ever seen. It's one of the ones in season 3 when Jim is working at the Stamford branch. Anyway, the part that made me laugh out loud for about 2 whole minutes was when Jim faxes Dwight on his letterhead from "Future Dwight" about the coffee being poisoned.

I wish moments like that happened in a real office.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

When we traveled to San Diego last summer, I realized that the rest of the world doesn't have a pharmacy on every corner. I found that odd.

Yes, I know I'm describing southern California as if it's another country. So what?

9:04 AM  
Blogger Seanzie said...

Apparently they're just healthier folks.

9:06 AM  
Blogger AllenD said...

Late to the party on the the previous discussion on Troop'c comments. HAven't finished reading.

In case it wasn't answered later re: "catch the tunnel."

Tunnel is the tunnel screen, curling underneath with a built-in rub off of another blocker. Catch the ball, then try not to get your head taken off by a safety or OLB.

9:10 AM  
Blogger Norm said...

Wake - don't do this

9:23 AM  
Blogger AllenD said...

King of Pop,

HC parking can be influenced by the location of the HC ramp.

9:24 AM  
Blogger ehyou said...

I'm always very careful when I clean my loaded firearms.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Commish of Old Pimps said...

My boys' favorite show is Phineus & Ferb. When I watched it for the first time with them, I laughed my @$$ off

9:36 AM  
Blogger Norm said...

ehyou/commish - is it wrong to think Vanessa Doofenshmirtz is kinda hot? If it is, well...

9:39 AM  
Blogger ehyou said...

...then I don't wanna be right.

9:43 AM  
Blogger Commish of Old Pimps said...

Norm, it's not wrong for us to admire her attributes. But she's one of the (many) reasons why I question whether 7 yr old boys should be watching that show. Go ahead, call me a prude. I can handle it.

9:52 AM  
Blogger weagle251 said...

Prude. Do you wistfully pine for the days when all women were drawn like Olive Oyl?

9:57 AM  
Blogger Norm said...

She's not bad, she's just drawn that way.

10:00 AM  
Blogger michael said...

I like old Looney Toons cartoons. Replace the poop jokes and sex stuff with nonstop violence. That's my philosophy!

10:07 AM  
Blogger Seanzie said...

I wish all cartoon women were drawn like Jessica Rabbit. That's some good old school cartoonage.

10:07 AM  
Blogger Seanzie said...

My all-time fav non-stop violence was the kind doled out but the bird onto the ignorant canine.

(That's roadrunner and coyote)

10:08 AM  
Blogger Norm said...

Now look, would I turn on this gas if my friend Rocky was in there?

10:10 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Great articles, Jay. I enjoyed them, plus I learned something. It took until the 1980s for Auburn to discover wood. Pretty incredible.

10:10 AM  
Blogger War Eagle Girl said...

Actually, had gym class in the I that old?

Also I loved the wooden seats in the Beav...guess I'm the only one.

Jay, I lived in Calif for 4 is another country!

10:12 AM  
Blogger michael said...

Duck Season!
Rabbit Season!
Duck Season!
Rabbit Season!
Rabbit Season!
Duck Season!
Rabbit Season!
Now I said it's duck season! Shoot!
You're despicable.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Norm said...

Shoot him now, shoot him now.
No, wait 'til you get home.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Seanzie said...

I'm still trying to figure out where Pismo Beach is.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Norm said...

You have to turn left at Albuquerque to get to Pismo Beach.

10:17 AM  
Blogger Jet said...

Senate E-bingo legislation faces key procedure bill in the next 15 minutes.

To move forward with the bill, a three-fifths majority of those who present and voting must vote yes.

To pass, it must have 21 affirmative votes.

10:20 AM  
Blogger Norm said...

Jet, we're talking cartoons. Which one is this you're referring to?

10:22 AM  
Blogger digger4au said...

Hard for me to believe BEMC is that old. I watched all my basketball in the Barn, had PE classes there. Didn't get around to seeing a game at BEMC until the early 80's. All things must come to and end and so fairwell to the old lady.

10:23 AM  
Blogger Jet said...

The Alabama Senate, Norm. My favorite was when the presiding officer peed in a jug. Hilarity ensued.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Norm said...

Yes, I'm sure you remember that episode well.

10:29 AM  
Blogger Peter Frankenschmidt said...

wait, what?

10:30 AM  
Blogger Jet said...

The procedure vote does not gain the necessary three-fifths vote.

10:38 AM  
Blogger WarEagleRK said...

ignorant canine!

10:55 AM  
Blogger Ephemeral said...


I still haven't gotten over that "hilarious" event. I saw the said presiding officer at a restaurant recently, and that's what came to mind. He will forever be tied to that decision.

10:56 AM  
Blogger weagle251 said...

So how'd that vote go, Jet?

Seanzie, it's my firm belief that Christina Hendricks has been given to us as Jessica Rabbit, incarnate.

11:09 AM  
Blogger Scott Chocolate said...

You might, rabbit, you might.

11:15 AM  
Blogger Scott Chocolate said...

I realize that response is an hour late, but I'm just now catching up on the posts.

11:19 AM  
Blogger Norm said...

ScoCho - any response is appreciated.

11:25 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Jay with the construction 80%-90% completed what are you impressions of the new arena? How will it rank among other college venues?

11:26 AM  
Blogger Jet said...

weagle251 ... Christina Hendricks. Wow.

The procedural vote to allow the issue to come to the floor got 19 of 34 votes ... it needed 60 percent. Didn't get there.

11:27 AM  
Blogger ehyou said...

What does that mean? I can't keep up with what's currently legal and what's not.

I am sure that the folks from down here in Dothan are foaming at the mouth over this crap.

11:30 AM  
Blogger Tar Heel Tiger said...

I prefer drug stores on every corner over nail salons on every corner a la Baton Rouge.

11:32 AM  
Blogger weagle251 said...

I think that means the Filibuster continues, ehyou.

Indeed, Jet. Indeed.

11:32 AM  
Blogger ehyou said...

Nikki Cox of Unhappily Ever After used to be an equally talented young lady.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Seanzie said...

I will have to look up said Jessica Rabbit incarnate.

11:54 AM  
Blogger ehyou said...

I saw Bill Murray on Letterman a couple nights ago. Shaffer played the lounge Star Wars to introduce him. That got me wondering and sure enough,
there he is.

11:59 AM  
Blogger ehyou said...

Is bingo currently legal in AL or not?

12:08 PM  
Blogger Jet said...

Ehyou ... it means status quo ... the locations with the machines that have voluntarily closed down to avoid the raids will stay closed.

Legislatively, until the budgets are passed every bill must have a procedural vote that requires the 60 percent vote. It serves as a great way to weed out controversial stuff that bogs down the process. It also makes it easier to kill bills. I won't make a value judgment on either.

They didn't get to 60 percent, the bill couldn't be debated.

12:21 PM  
Blogger Scott Chocolate said...

Back when I used to go to Boy Scout camp in the late 70's and early 80's, if you left something down in the swimming area, you had to sing in front of the whole dining hall to get back whatever it was you had lost. This one nerdy kid used to lose stuff on purpose so he could sing in front of everybody. About the 3rd or 4th time he did this, our entire troop mobilized, carried him out of the dining hall, and threw him in the lake. His selection that day? The Bill Murray version of "Star Wars".

I don't remember all of his other song choices, but I'm pretty sure he sang "Jolene" by Dolly Parton the day before that, so he definitely had the lake toss coming.

12:32 PM  
Blogger IV said...

Scott Choc, I don't remember the lake tossing of the nerd, but I wish I did.

12:34 PM  
Blogger Jet said...

Count Chocula ...

Just go ahead and say it was J-Z. It has to be. The scouting, the fixation with show tunes.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Norm said...

Jet beat me to it. Stupid con-calls.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Scott Chocolate said...

IV, I'm pretty sure that was '79 or '80. We got in a bit of trouble for that one, but not as much as we did the time in later years when we messed up the waterproofing on about 10 or 15 tents right before we got hit with 2 solid days of pouring rain. I think about half the troop (including my brother) ended up sleeping in the quartermaster's shack. You might remember that one better.

12:45 PM  
Blogger wtc said...

I see where the former mayor of Bham won over 500 jackpots totaling over 1.2 million in a 3 year period. Says he doesn't recall winning that much but also says he lost it all back. He stated he gambled big and lost big. He actually put that stuff on his tax return.

On several occasions he won like 5-10 jackpots in one day.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Scott Chocolate said...

Unfortunately, J-Z was not the performer. I actually wasn't in the same troop as J-Z, but we were sometimes at camp at the same time. He was usually responsible for any explosions or out-of-control fires at camp. He is also possibly responsible for the demise of his whole troop. I know it folded while he was part of it.

12:51 PM  
Blogger Commish of Old Pimps said...

ehyou: what happened to Nikki Cox's lips?? Did she mix it up with an air compressor???

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Larry Langford is a piece of s**t.

1:05 PM  
Blogger Jet said...

Count Chocula ...

There's a pattern here. My fraternity had a charter when I left active membership. J-Z was a younger member. Today, the charter is no longer in force.

Please, Jay G, take care before he kills HABOTN.

1:08 PM  
Blogger ehyou said...

I like how his wiki page starts: "Larry Langford is the disgraced former mayor..."

1:11 PM  
Blogger LuvAU1968 said...

Sensi, agreed! I can't stand that guy.

1:13 PM  
Blogger LuvAU1968 said...

Where is this Barn of which you speak? I never even heard of it. They must have torn it down before my time.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I graduated in there and that's really the best memory I have of BEMC.

1:16 PM  
Blogger LuvAU1968 said...

So, when they tear down BEMC, what is going to be done with the empty space it leaves behind?

1:17 PM  
Blogger ehyou said...

Parking, a deck I believe.

1:23 PM  
Blogger Tar Heel Tiger said...

busy day

1:28 PM  
Blogger Scott Chocolate said...

There were some fun games in the 80's with Barkley, Person, etc.

1:29 PM  
Blogger Tar Heel Tiger said...


1:29 PM  
Blogger Eddie McCoy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:29 PM  
Blogger Tar Heel Tiger said...

I've been shamed yet again.

1:29 PM  
Blogger Scott Chocolate said...

Luv, the Barn burned down in '96 during the LSU game.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Eddie McCoy said...

THT- Sorry, Couldn't resist playing your role today. Been lurking all day.

1:31 PM  
Blogger ehyou said...

I am staying with my Auburn student bro-in-law this weekend to escape a 'Princess Party' at my house. I, of course, am obligated to show the young folks how it's done.

I envision Animal House meets Old School with a little Revenge of the Nerds thrown in.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Tar Heel Tiger said...

I loved the Barn. It was also Pete Maravich's favorite away game, or so I read somewhere once upon a time.

1:33 PM  
Blogger Tar Heel Tiger said...

Eddie - keep on lurking. I'm back to work.

1:33 PM  
Blogger Jet said...

My first trip to Beard-Eaves Coliseum was on Dec. 8, 1973 when Auburn played Virginia Tech. My father took took me over, and we met my older brother who was a senior at the time.

Va. Tech had won the NIT the previous year (when it was still a big thing to win the NIT), and its coach was ex-UT coach Don DeVoe. His top assistant was Sonny Smith.

Auburn's starting five (as I recall) was: Pepto Bolden, Gary Redding, Bob Bond, Mike Christian and Eddie Johnson. Pepto led the SEC in rebounding and Eddie in scoring -- both as freshmen.

We came from behind to win, 76-74. That was a long season, but the next year we went 18-8, 12-6 in the league and undefeated at home. That was a fun year.

It reminds me of listening to games with my dad downstairs in my bedroom. We'd listen on a clock radio we had to turn the right way to catch the AM signal. I'd shoot Nerf baskets through whole game. We'd listen to Gary Sanders call the action from places like Alligator Alley, the Stokely Athletic Center, and Memorial Coliseum in Lexington.

I'm driving up after work and I'm gonna watch a game in the old dump one more time with my son.

1:50 PM  
Blogger dan dan the AU fan said...

I and a friend will be going to BEMC for the festivities. My best memories are the 1999 season, seeing Shaq play, and I believe the guys name was Ronnie Battle?, dunk all over Robert Horry. I think it snowed that night also, got "stranded" due to an inch or so of snow.

2:29 PM  
Blogger Scott M. Brannan said...

Jet, your post got me all fired up. enjoy the more time.

2:29 PM  
Blogger Scott Chocolate said...

I have fond memories of heckling opposing coaches at BEMC. When I was a freshman, there were some good targets:

UA - Wimp Sanderson
UK - Joe B. Hall
UF - Norm Sloan
UT - Don DeVoe
VU - C.M. Newton
UGA - Hugh Durham
LSU - Dale Brown

and a couple of forgettable ones:

OM - Lee Hunt
MS - Bob Boyd

Of course, we had Sonny Smith, which was a lot of fun.

2:43 PM  
Blogger Scott M. Brannan said...

SIT DOWN.....YOU SUCK!!!!!!!!

ahhhh, what it is to be a carefree college student!

2:50 PM  
Blogger CHB said...

looks like all of the fun stuff occurred before I got to school.

My two best memories are graduation and "The Dunk" by Chris Porter.

3:04 PM  
Blogger Howard said...

Best memories of the Beav:
1) Graduation
2) Porter's dunk
3) Dale Brown having to move the team out to the paint during time-outs during a game featuring Shaq and Chris Jackson (pre Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf name change). The noise from the AU student section caused the benches to be moved to the opposite side of the stadium the following year.

3:16 PM  
Blogger Howard said...

And yes... stadium = coliseum in the last comment (yes, I miss football).

3:18 PM  
Blogger CHB said...

I forgot about the Reggie Sharpe shot to beat the walmartians. That was a great game too.

3:56 PM  
Blogger E-Bro said...

Yeah, that was pretty awesome.

4:04 PM  
Blogger dan dan the AU fan said...

Beating Ark. when they had Corey Beck and singing "Loser" by Beck late in the game.

4:12 PM  
Blogger michael said...

I'll bet the "soy un perdedor" part or whatever it was sounded like a jumbled mess.

4:44 PM  
Blogger Wakeriderof87 said...

Norm, I will do my best not to be the idiot who shoots himself. I never quite understand how this happens.

Anytime I see "while cleaning his weapon" I wonder if there isn't more there then we are being told.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Dropping in to say hello to all the Hotties. I'm not sorry to see the end of the BEMC. Great article JGT.

4:55 PM  
Blogger dan dan the AU fan said...

I think we just repeated "I'm a loser baby, so why don'tcha kill me." It didn't last long. Those were the only words I knew anyway.

4:57 PM  
Blogger dan dan the AU fan said...

Off to the loveliest village!
War Eagle!

4:58 PM  
Blogger cincytiger said...

A big WAR EAGLE to everyone who is making it to the game tonight. I hope you have a great time and send BEMC off with a win!

I remember going to gymnastics meets in the barn. It was the Student Act building when I was there.

5:28 PM  
Blogger LuvAU1968 said...

I don't have very many memories at BEMC. I only went to five games there - two men's games and three women's games. The best game was last year when the Lady Tigers played the Lady Vols.

But, everytime I was there, I would think about all the history in that building. But, like Digger said, all things must come to an end.

Who designed BEMC anyway?

5:47 PM  
Blogger missinit said...

Call me crazy!

I remember every one of the concerts on that list during my era because I went to them.... even saw ole Ted Kennedy....he was awful.

But somewhere between Sept of 1970 and May of 1974 I went to a concert at the Auburn Memorial Coliseum and saw The Fifth Dimension.

The reason I remember it so distinctly was because it was the first time I had ever been to a concert in the round. The Age of Aquarius was their big number with planets and stars going all over the place. Anybody remember? Maybe they opened for somebody!!!!

I also went to a concert and saw Billy Preston. That was the most entertaining concert I went to in my four years at AU. That man could play the organ and he was into us. Had it rocking!!!!! It was actually a free concert for students on a Thursday I think.

Why are they not on the list?????

Why can I remember 35-40 years ago and I can not remember yesterday?????

I'll bet there are more they missed. I'm gonna be forced to pull out the old scrapbooks!!!

What was I I crazy or what??????

6:03 PM  
Blogger CHB said...

I hope in 40 years we aren't prayer for the end of the new arena. Hopefully this time around Auburn will make the necessary upgrades along the way to keep it up to date.

6:05 PM  
Blogger CHB said...

I hope in 40 years we aren't prayer for the end of the new arena. Hopefully this time around Auburn will make the necessary upgrades along the way to keep it up to date.

6:05 PM  
Blogger FSJ said...

My first trip to BEMC was in 1992. We drove over from Tuscaloosa to watch my old high school win the state basketball championship.

I look forward to the new arena.

6:21 PM  
Blogger Wakeriderof87 said...

FSJ you are an odd man. If they opened a new basketball arena in T-town, I would hope that it was a casualty in the impending sink hole incident.

Haven't seen much of you around. BBQ season?

6:38 PM  
Blogger missinit said...

My bad!!

Since I am old as dirt I missed the word "partial" in the lists of concerts, etc.

By the way Jay G. it was a great article, thoroughly enjoyed it.

Took me down memory lane a bit. It is pretty sad that not one outstanding basketball event happened during my stay at AU but I did go to the NCAA Wrestling Championship in 1971, mainly because I was dating one of the Auburn wrestlers at the time. Real wrestling is ausome. Even the tiny guys are super strong.

Digger you will appreciate this!!!! The football team was housed at Sewell Hall. The wrestlers were housed at none other than Mag Hall and it was a royal dump even in the 70's.

Come on ehyou.....not true on the "no redeeming qualities" comment. A lot of us walked that stage to get our diplomas from Auburn. That redeemed me of four years of blood, sweat, and tears. Oh... and I had just a tad of fun along the way.

I still occasionally have a nightmare that I missed a final and they chased me down to take back that diploma, Serioiusly!

6:48 PM  
Blogger Jet said...

Francis Aihe!

6:51 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Live chat is UPZ.

6:59 PM  

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