From the moment it opened in 2002, the Convocation Center has helped shape the college experience for NIU students. It has also been the location of entertaining and meaningful experiences for people from the local community and surrounding areas.
At the time of its construction, the 10,000-seat facility marked the largest single capital improvement in NIU's 100-year history. The $36 million arena brought a new focus on the west campus as a center for living and learning. It also fulfilled the need for a local facility with large-scale event space, and its indoor track allowed NIU to establish a women's track program.
Today, the center hosts more than 200 events each year, including:
- Family shows
- Theatrical productions
- Commencement ceremonies
- Job fairs
- Trade shows
- NIU Division I athletic events (basketball, volleyball, track, gymnastics and wrestling)
The Convocation Center consists of 215,000 square feet, including more than 45,000 square feet of floor space. It boasts a seating capacity of 10,000. The attractive lobby and reception space are perfect for special events. An attached building includes offices, a media center, practice gym, food preparation area, storage and other areas. The center also features:
- Convenient parking (3,000 spaces).
- Flexible floor plans.
- Retractable seating.
- An accessible grade-level entrance.
Victor E. Court (Auxiliary Gym)
The auxiliary gym is 13,440 square feet of Northern Hardwood Maple and has audio and visual capabilities. It can be used for sporting and non-sporting events. There is bleacher seating for 800 and can be divided in half with a curtain system. It is used for wrestling, gymnastics, and volleyball as well as small functions, receptions and small concerts.
With its convenient location, the Convocation Center is easily reachable by 8 million people within 90 miles. It's also a popular destination for NIU's approximately 18,000 students. The facility is located:
- Forty minutes from Rockford.
- One hour from Chicago.
- Two hours from Milwaukee.
- Two hours from Madison.
- Two hours from Dubuque.
- Two hours from the Quad Cities.
- Two hours from Bloomington.