Alumni Arena is a world class facility that houses the university's NCAA Division I sports teams and faculty. It's the place for men's and women's Mid-American Conference basketball competition, fitness activities, Distinguished Speakers Series lectures and large-scale events, including general commencement. The building was constructed in two phases - 1982 and 1985. The addition included a gymnastic area, activity rooms, locker rooms and racket ball courts among other space uses. Alumni Arena also includes a 6,000 seat gym for basketball, wrestling or volleyball (also the site of commencements and lectures by prominent speakers) and a natatorium, The gym is also the site of a 50 meter Olympic pool with a 1.2 million gallon capacity. It's also home to the Department of Theatre and Dance.
The arena is dedicated to UB's alumni. Steven Sample (former UB president 1982-1991) believed that a strong athletic program enriches and enhances the academic program, and he "created" Alumni Arena to engender university spirit within the university community.