Chiles Center – University of Portland
The Chiles Center, home of Pilot basketball and volleyball, is one of the most modern athletic and convocation facilities on the West Coast.
Situated on the northern edge of campus and adjacent to Merlo Field (soccer) and Joe Etzel Field (baseball), it is a memorial to the lives of Earle A. and Virginia H. Chiles, whose highly developed senses of heritage and civic responsibility helped make the Chiles Center a reality.
Construction began May 18, 1983, and the Chiles Center opened in October 1984 with a seating capacity of 4,852. President Ronald Reagan headlined the arena’s first event with a speech on Oct. 23, 1984, only three days after the dome’s dedication. The first athletic contest was held on Nov. 24, 1984 with the Pilot men’s basketball team defeating the University of the Pacific, 73-61.
The Chiles Center is home to the University of Portland athletic department. It also houses all locker rooms for Pilot athletes, the sports medicine department, weight training room, and a VIP room. A recreational running track circles the upper mezzanine and is cushioned with a urethane surface. The arena’s 2,000 theater seats can be rolled back to create an open area of 20,000 square feet on the main floor.
The Chiles Center, which annually hosts OSAA high school women’s basketball and volleyball state tournaments, also has been the site for appearances by Bob Dylan, the Dalai Lama, Stephen Hawking and President George W. Bush. Portland and the Chiles Center will host the West Coast Conference Basketball Championships in 2007.