Designed by famed architect Cesar Pelli, the Gerald Ratner Athletics Center opened to the University of Chicago community in the fall of 2003.
Located at the southwest corner of Ellis Avenue and 56th Street, the air-conditioned, 150,000 square-foot facility features the 50-meter x 25-yard Myers-McLoraine Swimming Pool; the Bernard DelGiorno Fitness Center with cardiovascular exercise equipment, selectorized weightlifting machines, and free weights; a multipurpose dance studio; competition and auxiliary gymnasia; classroom and meeting room space; permanent and day lockers and locker rooms; the University of Chicago Athletics Hall of Fame; and the athletic department offices.
The Ratner Center also serves as the home of the University of Chicago basketball, volleyball, and wrestling teams. The 1,658-seat competition gymnasium has played host to the 2006 NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional Wrestling Championship, the 2004, 2007, and 2010 University Athletic Association Wrestling Championships, as well as the 2009 UAA Volleyball Championship. In addition to hosting numerous U. of C. Swimming & Diving events, the Myers-McLoraine Swimming Pool served as the the host site of the 2005 UAA Swimming and Diving Championship and the 2009 Speedo Illinois Senior Championships.
In its first year of operation, the $51 million facility received awards from the American Council of Engineering Company, the American Institute of Steel Construction, and the Consulting Engineers Council of Illinois for its excellence in engineering and design.
Among the notable features of the two-story facility is a roof that is suspended by cables attached to five masts that peak 100 feet from the ground.
Recreational memberships are available for purchase for University and Hospital faculty, staff, alumni, and retirees as well as their spouses and children. Registered University students may acquire memberships at no charge.
The Ratner Athletics Center is named in honor of Gerald Ratner (A.B.’35, J.D.’37), who was an outfielder for Chicago during its days as a member of the Big Ten Conference.