The Watsco Center is the 200,000 square foot, 7,972-seat arena that is home to the University of Miami men’s and women’s basketball teams.
Watsco, Inc., based in Miami, is traded on the New York Stock Exchange and is the largest distributor of air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration products with annual sales of more than $4 billion, 5,000 employees and 563 locations throughout North America. Watsco has provided funding to the University since the 1990s through its “Watsco Kids” program, providing children in the community free access to performance arts, sports and other events at the University.
The men’s basketball team opened the arena Jan. 4, 2003 with an overtime win over North Carolina. Since then, Miami has won the ACC regular-season championship in the building and hosted postseason NIT and WNIT games. The Hurricanes’ women’s basketball team recorded a perfect 20-0 season in the arena in 2010-11. In 2015-16, the Miami men’s team sold out the arena for the season. Since its opening, the arena has hosted a number of memorable events and sold-out shows, including Green Day, Coldplay, John Mayer, Drake, The Fray, and Barry Manilow, as well as being the setting for televised events and award shows such as the 2004 Presidential Debates, Unplugged featuring Ricky Martin and Thalia, Premio Lo Nuestro, Premios Juventud, Billboard’s Latin Music Awards, and most recently The X Factor. The venue has also welcomed world-renowned figures and politicians, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, former President Bill Clinton, current President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator John McCain.