The Louis Brown Athletic Center, more commonly known as the RAC (for its original name, the Rutgers Athletic Center), is an 8,000-seat multi-purpose arena in Piscataway, New Jersey on Rutgers University's Livingston Campus. The building is shaped like a truncated tent with trapezoidal sides on the north and south ends. It is home to the men's and women's Rutgers Scarlet Knights basketball teams. Previously, the University used the 3,200-seat College Avenue Gym from 1931 to 1977.

The arena opened on November 30, 1977 with a win against rival Seton Hall. The arena was known as the Rutgers Athletic Center until 1986, when it was renamed for Louis Brown, a Rutgers graduate and former member of the varsity golf team, who made a large bequest to the University in his will. Despite the name change, the building is still largely referred to as "The RAC" (pronounced "rack") by students, alumni, fans, and players.

The RAC is renowned for being one of the loudest arenas in college basketball when at maximum capacity. The trapezoidal design of the building allows the crowd noise to resonate, creating a deafening environment. The RAC has even been described as being "louder than a 747 at Newark Airport." ESPN's Jay Bilas has lauded the RAC, saying, "The Scarlet Knights play great there, and the crowd is right on top of you and intimidating." Former opponents have also extolled the RAC's atmosphere. Former Connecticut Guard Ben Gordon said, “It is very difficult at the RAC. They have a great home crowd. The student body and everybody really comes out to support them. Just the way the gym is shaped, it seems like everybody is on top of you. At times, if you're not focused, you can get lost in the game just by how intense the crowd is." Former Syracuse forward Hakim Warrick notes that "they (the fans) are definitely some of the best fans on the road that I’ve played against. It’s crazy how much they love their team. The way the gym is made, it’s just made to keep the noise in. It’s loud and crazy down there.”

Non-Rutgers Sporting Events
The arena was the home of the NBA's New Jersey Nets from their second year in the NBA, 1977, when the team moved from The Nassau Coliseum, until 1981, when the Brendan Byrne Arena opened at the Meadowlands Sports Complex. It also hosted the 1985 and 1989 Atlantic Ten Conference men's basketball tournaments. The arena is also the site for the girls and boys Middlesex County high school basketball tournament finals, and various boys and girls New Jersey high school basketball state playoff games.

Non-Sporting Events
The Grateful Dead played at the Rutgers Athletic Center on May 15, 1981. The arena was used on Friday, April 27, 2007 for Rutgersfest, an annual concert normally held outdoors, but held in the RAC that time due to rain. The performers were The Roots, Hawthorne Heights, and Everclear. Due to lack of seating, only 5,000 tickets were given out, angering the 15,000 or so (est.) other students who were then unable to attend. The arena is used every June as a graduation hall for Piscataway Township High School, John P. Stevens High School, as well as for other high schools in surrounding cities. The graduations are free to attend and anyone may attend. May 3, 2008 The RAC hosted SpringBlaze 2008, a concert featuring Christian rock bands with a special appearance by Rutgers Football Head Coach Greg Schiano.

Possible Expansion
The Newark, NJ based Star Ledger and the Rutgers University newspaper, The Daily Targum have reported that Rutgers Athletic Director Tim Pernetti intends on expanding the Louis Brown Athletic Center to include more practice facilities, more concourse space, and a seating expansion to accommodate 12,500 fans, including club seating and premium restaurants. Pernetti also stated that he wanted to book more concerts at the arena and at nearby Rutgers Stadium.


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Building Activity

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