Georgia's Stegeman Coliseum closed after ceiling piece falls


ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Georgia's Stegeman Coliseum has been closed for repairs after a small piece of concrete fell from the ceiling of the nearly 60-year-old facility that hosts several of the university's sports teams and school graduation ceremonies in the spring.

No one was injured when the concrete fell on Wednesday, the school said.

The closure should not affect the men's and women's basketball teams, which have completed their home schedules, but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that a gymnastics meet Friday against Arkansas has been moved to a suburban Atlanta arena.

“The University of Georgia has closed Stegeman Coliseum until further notice. This action was taken because a small piece of the ceiling was discovered to have fallen (Wednesday). No one was hurt," the school said in a statement.

The gymnastics meet was moved to Gas South Arena in Duluth, about 45 miles west of Stegeman Coliseum in the sprawling Atlanta suburbs. The Gym Dogs are set to host Michigan in their final regular-season meet on March 10.

Several other events planned for the Stegeman Coliseum over the next few weeks might also be affected. The university and several Athens-area high schools typically use the facility for spring graduation ceremonies.

“Safety is the university’s top priority and the building will remain closed until the necessary repairs have been completed," the school statement said. "We do not know how long that will take at this time. The university has begun notifying groups that have reserved the coliseum and has advised them to find alternate locations.”

The 10,523-seat arena opened in 1964 as an all-concrete structure built around two giant parabolas. It has undergone numerous renovations over the years, including a $13 million project that was completed in 2009. A giant scoreboard was hung from the roof in 2017 as part of another set of improvements that cost $8 million.

The facility hosted volleyball and rhythmic gymnastics during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.