Moody Coliseum stands at the center of Abilene Christian University – literally and figuratively. Indoor athletics, Sing Song, Chapel and Summit all call the cavernous arena home. More than 40 years after its completion, Moody remains at the heart of all things ACU.
The arena has undergone several makeovers during the years. Today, the arena seats approximately 4,600 people for basketball games, but temporary seating can raise capacity to more than 5,500 for Chapel, Sing Song or Summit. The current scoreboard was raised to the rafters in 2003, and the current gym floor was laid in 2006.
The first basketball game ever played in Moody was Feb. 27, 1968, when the Wildcats topped Arkansas State 96-93 in overtime to win the Southland Conference title. During the past 43 seasons, the arena has played host to many other significant athletic events, ranging from regional basketball championships to volleyball tournaments.
Jason Copeland is in his fifth year as the men’s head basketball coach and has seen some great moments in Moody. The Wildcats ended a 15-game losing streak there against Tarleton State in January of last year and nearly defeated a top-10 team, Midwestern State, in the same month.
“It’s better than 80 to 90 percent of the places we play,” Copeland said. “We have a great floor and good seating.”
Copeland also said the arena’s sheer size serves as a valuable recruiting tool, even if basketball crowds never come close to capacity.
When Copeland took over the program, it had not reached the Lone Star Conference tournament in almost a decade. He described the victory against Texas A&M-Kingsville that propelled the ‘Cats into postseason play in 2008 as one of his favorite Moody memories.
While Moody is home to ACU basketball and volleyball, the arena is about so much more than sports. Every weekday, thousands of ACU students make their pilgrimage to Moody for Chapel, and in February, Sing Song takes center stage.
If a major indoor event is taking place on the ACU campus, it likely takes place in Moody. Even with the construction of a new recreational center, Moody isn’t moving from its spot on campus or in ACU tradition anytime soon.