|The Mine Shaft|
Charlotte, North Carolina 28223
|Closed||1996 (for intercollegiate events)|
Charlotte 49ers (men) (NCAA) (1970–1976)|
Charlotte 49ers (women) (NCAA) (1975–1996)
Belk Gymnasium, known informally as The Mine Shaft, is a gymnasium on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in Charlotte, North Carolina. Completed in 1970, it was the first on-campus home of the Charlotte 49ers basketball team.
Before Belk Gym was built, UNC Charlotte's basketball team (then a member of the NAIA) played at various high school gyms in the greater Charlotte area. As the full-time home of the 49ers from 1970 through 1976, the team enjoyed a tremendous home-court advantage, going undefeated at home in 1974, 1975, and 1976. When Charlotte joined the Sun Belt Conference for the 1976-77 season, Belk's seating capacity (approximately 3,000) was too small for the conference's standards; as a result, the team moved its conference home games to the original Charlotte Coliseum.
From 1976 until the opening of Dale F. Halton Arena in 1996, the 49ers' women's basketball team and volleyball team played in the Mine Shaft; the men's basketball team played lower-profile non-league games in the gym during that time period - at least one each season.
With the opening of Halton Arena, Belk Gym was no longer needed as a host for intercollegiate activities. Its bleachers were removed in 2000, and the main floor was removed in 2003; at that time, the overhead scoreboard was also removed. The facility now houses the Department of Recreational Services and the Department of Kinesiology for UNC Charlotte.
The gym is still an integral part of UNC Charlotte classroom usage. The second floor houses RM 229, nicknamed "The Stadium" by students because of its old school stadium style seats and elevated floor. Belk Is slated to receive a new facade and interior renovation that will turn it into a classroom building as part of UNC Charlotte's 2010 Master Plan. This will allow the Kinesiology program to expand beyond its current capabilities. Recreational Services offices as well as new recreational venues are slated to move to the new Student Recreational Center which will be built closer to the north side student housing as part of the planned North Quad in the 2010 Master Plan.