The Ferrell Center, which opened in 1988, serves as the home for Baylor basketball, volleyball, university events, and other special events ranging from world-class entertainers to world leaders. Resting on the banks of the Brazos River, the Ferrell Center is just a five minute walk from campus and is now one of five venues located in the Jim and Julie Turner Riverfront Athletic Park.
Within the center is the Paul J. Meyer Arena which seats 10,284 for basketball, 8,000 for concerts, and can seat up to 1,000 for banquets. During the summer of 2002, two scoring/video boards allow for replay, graphics, and other video capabilities to enhance the event atmosphere in the arena. With the addition of the new basketball playing floor the Bears and Lady Bears have the opportunity to be on the hardwood more days out of the year with less coversions time between events and games or practice times. In addition a 43,000 sq ft basketball practice facility was recently constructed on the north west side of the building. It contains 2 full practice courts, a strength and conditioning center, and new offices for the men and women's basketball staff.
The inaugural event held in the area was a political rally for former President Ronald Reagan. Through the years the arena has hosted many famous acts on its stage including: George Strait, Garth Brooks, Keith Urban, Hootie and the Blowfish, Neil Diamond, Dolly Parton, Steven Curtis Chapman, Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, The Harlem Globe Trotters, and many more. Many world leaders have also spent time on our stage including Collin Powell, Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu, and most recently Former First Lady Barbara Bush, all part of the President's Forum Lecture Series.
Fans have also seen the best of college basketball on the court with a major upset over the University of Arkansas in the early 90's and more recently with the Bears defeating the #4 ranked Kansas Jayhawks in 2001 and the Lady Bears knocking off a top-ten ranked Iowa State team the same year. The Baylor and Waco communities are making the Ferrell Center a tough place to play basketball with record crowds recorded since the arrival of Kim Mulkey, including a facilty record crowd of 10,550 while winning the 2005 women's Big XII regular season title. Following the record crowd Mulkey led the Lady Bears to a first ever Women's National Championship. This marked the first National Championship for the Big XII in basketball. The arena also play's home to Baylor Volleyball.