In 1985, William D. Mullins, a state representative from Ludlow, suggested that the University needed a multi-purpose arena and convocation center to help expand the athletic program and assist in the university's growth. He died in 1986, but the state went ahead with the building of the complex, naming it for him. It replaced the Curry Hicks Cage, the 1930s-era basketball gymnasium, as home of the Minutemen basketball teams. In addition, it allowed the hockey team, which had been downgraded to club status since the late 1970s, to be elevated to Division I status.
The William D. Mullins Memorial Center is a multi-purpose 10,500 seat facility on the campus of the University of Massachusetts. Home to UMass basketball and hockey, the facility hosts concerts, family, ice and theater shows.
The Mullins Center sits on Commonwealth Avenue on the western edge of the UMass Amherst campus. Overlooking the outdoor playing fields and offering a wide vista of the Hadley Hills and the Holyoke Range, the Mullins Center represents a joining in form, of the campus’ architecture, and in spirit, of the campus’ commitment to the quality of life for the university community.
Completely handicapped accessible, this arena complex is a two building facility connected by a plaza with underground locker rooms. The main arena houses a basketball court over an Olympic sized hockey rink. The arena is also available for convocations, commencement, cultural events, conferences, concerts, and theatrical productions.
The attached building has a permanent ice rink for recreational skating and for use as a practice facility for intercollegiate hockey and an intramural program. Three racquetball courts for intramural and general use are also enclosed in this building. The Mullins Center design also includes a number of multi-purpose rooms, athletic offices and press area.