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Beasley Coliseum History

Beasley Coliseum, is named for the former executive vice president Wallis Beasley who retired in 1981.


The first event held at Beasley Coliseum was Commencement in 1973

Many of the campus’ cultural activities take place here:


Graduation Hat It is also the site of Washington State University’s Graduation ceremonies.

Cougar Basketball This structure seats 12,000 for Cougar basketball games on Friel court.

Concerts also take place at Beasley This structure seats 12,500 for major concerts.


Friel court was named for Jack Friel, a 1923 graduate and WSU basketball coach for 30 years (1929 to 1958).


The facility can also be set-up in the following configurations:

Mini-Arena – 4,700  |  Theatre – 2,500  |   Mini-Theatre – 1,000  |  Chamber Theatre – 275

see seating information for various configurations

Beasley Coliseum was built in 1973 for the cost of $8 million. The cost to build Beasley Coliseum today would be valued at $75-100 million.


Beasley Coliseum Site Plan by John Graham

Perspective of Beasley Coliseum by John Graham



Because of the special design features of the theater inside the arena, Beasley Coliseum continues to be an industry standard and has inspired similar buildings throughout the world.







The Coliseum has about 190,000 square feet of floor space that has to be cleaned and maintained. That’s about 95 houses.
The roof area is 5 acres.
The Coliseum floor is 15,000 square feet. (100′ x 150′)
The distance around the outer concourse is about 1/5 mile.
From the center of the floor to the ceiling is 90′.

Old Photographs taken inside of Beasley Coliseum since the seventies.

Photo accreditation: Thank you to WSU MASC (Manuscripts, Archives & Special Collections).