The Robert A. Mott Athletics Center (formerly Mott Gym) is a 3,032-seat, indoor multi-purpose arena on the campus of California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California.
History and renovations
Mott Gym was inaugurated in September 1960 and hosted its first match on Dec. 1, 1960, a Cal Poly Mustangs men's basketball game against Whittier College. Cal Poly prevailed 70-69.
On Oct. 11, 1962, Cal Poly hosted a preseason exhibition in Mott Athletics Center between the Los Angeles Lakers and San Francisco Warriors, the clubs' only exhibition to be played in-state that year. The Lakers, led by Jerry West and Elgin Baylor, defeated fellow Pro Basketball Hall of Fame member Wilt Chamberlain and his Warriors, 110-96. It was actually the Lakers' second preseason contest in Mott, as on Oct. 2, 1961, the Boston Celtics, led by Hall of Famers Bill Russell and Sam Jones, earned a 121-116 win before a near-capacity crowd. Jones scored a team-high 26 points in the win, while Russell added 21. (West scored 31 points in defeat, while Baylor added 25.)
The facility underwent major renovations in 1998 by local construction firm Santa Margarita Construction Corp. The seating was completely redone and arena-style chair-backs were added to Mott Athletics Center in addition to upgraded heating and ventilation systems.Mott Athletics Center also contains the Cal Poly Mustangs trophy case, as well as the Mustang Hall of Fame. For the Cal Poly student-athletes, men's and women's locker rooms were renovated in 1999 and the athletics center also houses the Mustang Strength Complex, the Cal Poly Athletics Academic Resource Center, and offices for Cal Poly coaches.
Named after Robert A. Mott (a physical education faculty member and department head from 1946-78), Mott Athletics Center hosted the 2005 Pac-10 Wrestling Championships, with the total attendance for the two-day event reaching 7,738. The Mustangs finished the meet in fourth place and crowned one individual champion, Vic Moreno at 125 pounds (57 kg).
In 1997, it marked the second time in three years an NBA team held its preseason camp at Mott Athletics Center. In 1995, the athletics center was the site of the 1995-96 Golden State Warriors training camp. Chris Mullin, Latrell Sprewell, B.J. Armstrong and No. 1 overall draft pick Joe Smith put on a show during an open practice to the public drawing a standing-room-only crowd of over 4,000. In 1997, the Sacramento Kings conducted their one-week camp at Cal Poly. Like the Warriors, the Kings opened doors to the public for an intrasquad scrimmage to conclude camp.
Mott Athletics Center has been home to numerous NCAA playoffs (most recently in 2006, the first and the second rounds of NCAA Volleyball Tournament to sold-out crowds) and championships over the years, as well as hosting various concerts, exhibitions and sporting events. Names like Eddie Money, The Pretenders, The Doors, Ike and Tina Turner and Bill Cosby are a few of the names that have performed at Mott.
In 1980, the men's basketball team hosted New Hampshire College (now Southern New Hampshire University) in a Division II NCAA Tournament Quarterfinal. During the 1998-99 season, it marked the first nationally televised game at Mott Athletics Center as ESPN2 carried a game between Cal Poly and Idaho. Several games have been broadcast live on Fox Sports West and ESPNU before capacity crowds.Mott Athletics Center underwent a comprehensive renovation in the summer of 2014, including a repainted court design, two new 22-by-17-foot (6.7 by 5.2 m) video boards and the implementation of new LED courtside rows.
Currently, the Cal Poly Mustangs men's basketball and Cal Poly Mustangs women's basketball teams, as well as the Cal Poly Mustangs women's volleyball and men's wrestling teams are the primary tenants of Mott Athletics Center.