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University of Chicago Department of Athletics & Recreation

Gerald Ratner Athletics Center



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Designed by famed architect Cesar Pelli, the Gerald Ratner Athletics Center opened to the University of Chicago community in the fall of 2003. The building 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.

Located at the southwest corner of Ellis Avenue and 55th 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 Athletics Center also serves as the home of the University of Chicago basketball, volleyball, wrestling and swimming & diving teams. The facility includes a 1,658-seat competition gymnasium and the Myers-McLoraine Swimming Pool.

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.

Bernard J. DelGiorno Fitness Center

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The Bernard J. DelGiorno Fitness Center within the Ratner Athletics Center occupies two levels of the facility plus the rotunda area. Open and full of light, the fitness center includes two selectorized weight circuits, free weights, rowing ergometers, elliptical trainers, recumbent and upright bicycles, step mills, and treadmills – many with cardio theatre options.

Additional fitness center opportunities are available at Henry Crown Field House, which include cardio, resistance, and weight training equipment.


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The Ratner Center houses a competition gym and auxiliary gym, both of which are available to recreational users. The Competition Gym features a practice and game site for varsity basketball, volleyball, and wrestling which converts to two recreational courts.

The Auxiliary Gym includes a multipurpose court that allows for indoor soccer, as well as basketball, volleyball, and badminton.

Myers-McLoraine Pool

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The most prominent feature of the Ratner Center is the Myers-McLoraine swimming pool. The 50-meter by 25-yard pool includes up to 20 lanes in the 25-yard dimension and nine lanes in the 50-meter dimenson, and contains a moveable bulkhead which allows for simultaneous activities.

In addition, two one-meter diving boards are available. The pool depth ranges from four feet in the shallow section to 13.5 feet in the diving well.

Athletic Fields

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The University of Chicago varsity athletic teams practice and compete on the fields located directly behind the Ratner Athletics Center. The Maroons play football, soccer and softball at Amos Alonzo Stagg Field; baseball at J. Kyle Anderson Field; and hold meets on Ted Haydon Track.