Until this season, if you wanted to see college basketball downtown, you entered Portland State University's Stott Center, a bunkerlike sensory deprivation chamber—all white walls, no windows—that made up for in intimacy what it lacked in charm: It seated only about 1,500 but was rarely full.

Fortunately for hoops fans, PSU spent $52 million to double the gym's capacity, add new training facilities, offices and modern concession stands, with craft beer and local ice cream, transforming the building into Viking Pavilion.

An eye-pleasing combination of giant windows and Northwest timber, the new building looms over the South Park Blocks like a brightly lit ship. The Lady Viks reacted to their new home with their best season in years (15-4 thus far), and while the men's team has slumped to a 9-12 record after a postseason run in 2018, their run-and-gun style is bringing in 1,168 fans a game—the first time in a decade average attendance has topped 1,000.

"We have had an overwhelmingly positive response on the new arena from all of our fans, boosters, alums that have come back," says associate athletic director Mike Lund. "It is something we are very proud of and think turned out even better than we hoped."