- Facilities Usage and Guidelines
- Operational Policies
- HOURS OF OPERATION FOR RECREATION
- CANCELLATION OF ACTIVITIES AND RELOCATION OF CLASSES
- SELF-PROMOTIONS AND CO-PROMOTIONS
- RAIN DATES
- BOX OFFICE OPERATIONS AND TICKET SALES
- SMOKING POLICY
- GUEST ADMISSION TO UNIVERSITY EVENTS
- USE OF TICKETS FOR TRADE AND PROMOTIONAL PURPOSES
- BUYER BEWARE
- FOOD CATERING AND CONCESSIONS
- ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
- POSTING OF MATERIALS AND BANNERS
- GENERAL GUIDELINES AFFECTING ALL USERS
- EMERGENCY PROCEDURES
- CAMERA POLICY & PROHIBITED ITEMS
- ENTRY SECURITY POLICIES
- ADA Policies & Services
- O’Connell Center Advisory Board
- Overview of Event and Technical Services
The Stephen C. O’Connell Center is a multi-purpose academic, recreational, and entertainment facility on the campus of the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. The O’Connell Center includes a 10,000 seat main arena, 1,005 capacity natatorium, dance studio, gymnastics studio, basketball practice court, and a two martial arts/club activity rooms. These facilities and amenities are provided for and utilized by University departments, the University Athletic Association (UAA), student and campus organizations, Gainesville and surrounding communities, and outside rentals for the purpose of hosting a wide array of activities and events. It also provides office space for several of the University Athletic Association’s coaching and support staff.
The mission of the Stephen C. O’Connell Center is to serve as an academic, athletic, recreational and entertainment facility. In addition, we strive to provide superior service to guests and clients, and training for future leaders while operating the Center’s auxiliary as a financially self-supporting entity.
The Stephen C. O’Connell Center staff embraces customer contact as an opportunity to make a difference. We believe excellence should be the foundation of every job function. Our Goal is to ‘Exceed the Expectations’ of our clients, patrons, co-workers and supervisors. We consider every employee to be a respected member of our ‘family’ and with teamwork, commitment to excellence and a positive attitude we will be able to provide memorable experiences for those attending the numerous activities and events we host.
University of Florida students, faculty, staff and their spouses are invited to use the facilities of the O’Connell Center. In order to use the facilities, users must present a University of Florida Gator One Card. This includes all participants in any class or club activity as well as the use of the pool and jogging areas.
Please note that all recreational facilities in the O’Connell Center may be closed on University recognized holidays, during academic breaks, and whenever there is a ticketed or special event. Refer to the O’Connell Center weekly calendar for specific times and dates.
Guided tours of the O’Connell Center are available to groups upon special request. Reservations for tours must be made at least one week in advance by calling the O’Connell Center administrative office at (352) 392-5500.
Facilities Usage and Guidelines
- The Main Arena is used for instructional purposes, concerts, athletic events, banquets, commencements, speaking engagements, special student programs, trade shows and various other forms of recreation/entertainment.
- Hard-sole shoes are not permitted on the Main Arena floor when the wooden basketball floor is in place.
- The wooden basketball and volleyball floors are for use by the intercollegiate basketball and volleyball teams only; pick-up basketball games are not allowed.
- Rental of the Main Arena shall include areas of the O’Connell Center reasonably necessary for ingress and egress for personnel and equipment as well as those areas necessary for parking and unloading of equipment. The user shall not be entitled to use or occupy any other portion of the Center or adjacent areas.
- The Practice Court is reserved for UF intercollegiate basketball and volleyball teams, educational classes, scheduled intramural games and approved special events.
- Use of the Practice Court is permitted only when an authorized staff member is present.
- The weekly calendar should always be checked for confirmed class times.
- Participants should not enter the rooms until the scheduled class time.
- The Practice Court may be rented for special events such as receptions and banquets with the approval of the O’Connell Center Director.
- The Dance Studio is reserved for UF classes, dance groups, the UF dance company.
- The Dance Studio is to be used only when an instructor or supervisor is present.
- The weekly calendar should always be checked for confirmed class times.
- Participants should not enter the rooms until the scheduled class time.
- Hard-sole shoes are not permitted in the Dance Studio.
- The Dance Studio may be used only for dance classes and practices and approved special events.
- Eating, drinking and smoking are not permitted in the Dance Studio at any time.
- Only those enrolled in classes or groups using the Dance Studio may enter the area.
- Dance students may use the Dance Studio for individual practices during Floridance rehearsals with the dance supervisor’s approval.
ORANGE & BLUE ROOM AND FLORIDA ROOM
- The Orange & Blue Room and Florida Room are used for registered UF classes, recreational classes, clubs, and approved special events.
- The weekly calendar should always be checked for confirmed class times.
- Participants should not enter the rooms until the scheduled class time.
- Participants are expected to keep rooms clean at all times.
- Classes and clubs must follow the posted schedules by beginning and ending promptly.
- Spectators are allowed entrance by instructors and/or O’Connell Center personnel only.
- The Gymnastics Studio is reserved for and intercollegiate gymnastics only.
- No one is permitted in the Gymnastics Studio unless a coach or authorized instructor is present.
- Hard-sole shoes are not permitted in the studio at any time.
- Eating, drinking and smoking are not permitted in the studio at any time.
- Equipment changes must be made under the supervision and approval of a coach or instructor.
Jogging is permitted for UF students, faculty and staff on the 200 Level of the Main Arena when the O’Connell Center is open: however, hours may vary due to scheduled events in the Center. Joggers use these areas at their own risk.
- Men’s and Women’s Locker Rooms are available to UF students, staff and faculty with proper identification.
- Lockers are not permanently assigned, but users are encouraged to bring their own locks to secure their belongings during operating hours.
- Locks must be removed at the end of each day or they will be removed by the O’Connell Center.
- The O’Connell Center is not responsible for lost or stolen items within the Center.
O’CONNELL CENTER POOL
- Pool use is limited to the UF swim team, registered UF classes, the Gator Swim Club program and recreational swimming. Any exceptions must be approved by the O’Connell Center Director or his/her designee. Additional information about who may use the pool and how to obtain a guest pass are located here.
- Swimmers may enter the pool area only when a lifeguard is on duty.
- Swimmers must shower before entering the pool.
- Eating, drinking and smoking are not permitted in the pool or on the pool deck.
- Inappropriate behavior is prohibited in the pool and pool area.
- Animals are prohibited in the pool and pool area.
- Recreational swimmers must sign in and present a University of Florida Gator One Card to the lifeguards.
- Swimmers may enter and exit through the men’s or women’s locker rooms. If there is a special event, all entry and exit will be through the pool deck glass door, located at Gate 3 adjacent to the Bill Harlan Swim Team Meeting Facility.
- Scuba gear is prohibited in the pool, unless approved in writing by the O’Connell Center Director or his/her designee.
- Swimming between the bulkheads is not permitted.
- Only members of the University of Florida’s Swimming and Diving team (under proper supervision of the UF Coaching staff) are permitted to dive from the diving boards or the 5 and 10 meter platforms. No diving is allowed when both bulkheads are positioned under the boards and diving is allowed only when the lane ropes and backstroke flags are removed.
- The University Athletic Association diving team practice is not allowed during classes or recreational swimming hours unless approved through UF RecSports
- Bathing suits must be worn by all swimmers. Shorts of any kind are prohibited in the pool.
- Swimmers in the lane must be notified and moved before the lane line is removed and the lane is opened for the use of divers.
- Pool capacity for swimmers is 229 and the pool deck’s capacity is 435.
- Recreational hours are administered by the Department of Recreational Sports and funded by Student Government.
The lobbies may not be used by any classes or clubs other than for ingress and egress to activities in other areas without approval of the Center’s Director or his/her designee.
HOURS OF OPERATION FOR RECREATION
The O’Connell Center produces a weekly calendar with the daily class schedules and the recreational schedules for the Florida Room, pool, Practice Court, Orange & Blue Room and 200 Level jogging. The calendars are posted on the O’Connell Center website and copies are available in the administrative office. In addition, anyone wishing to receive a calendar via email should contact the administrative office at 352-392-5500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
CANCELLATION OF ACTIVITIES AND RELOCATION OF CLASSES
The O’Connell Center Director has the authority to cancel or relocate activities in order to maximize the use of the Center’s facilities for rental.
In addition, the Director may relocate classes from the Orange & Blue Room in order to use this space as a support facility for Main Arena rentals. Classes in the Natatorium may be moved to accommodate intercollegiate swim meets; however, classes have priority over swim camps and Gator Swim Club, and High School swim meets.
When possible, departments affected by schedule changes should be notified two weeks in advance. Such notifications will be made in writing.
The O’Connell Center facilities are available for rent with approval of the Center’s Director. A rental rate structure for the facilities may be found on our Rent the Center Page. When it is in the best interest of the University of Florida, the director can modify the rental rates in order to attract and obtain certain programs and rentals.
SELF-PROMOTIONS AND CO-PROMOTIONS
The Director of the O’Connell Center, on behalf of the University, is authorized to purchase specific entertainment activities or to self-promote activities which will be of interest to the University and the community at large. In addition, the Center’s Director may co-promote, or engage in a partnership arrangement, with another University organization or non-University entity, such as a promoter/talent agency or artist, in order to bring entertainment and other activities to the O’Connell Center.
Groups, organizations and persons permitted to lease the O’Connell Center may provide for voluntary contributions rather than charge an admission fee. With the approval of the Center’s Director, this arrangement may be allowed provided: 1. The contributions are only to cover the cost of the event, or 2. The net proceeds are for a recognized and approved charity.
The organization will be required to provide the O’Connell Center with their tax exempt number and a complete financial accounting of the event.
The O’Connell Center may be tentatively reserved as an alternate site for an outdoor event. The tentative reservation must be made a minimum of eight days prior to the event by a University of Florida organization and a minimum of sixteen days prior to the event by an outside organization. Confirmation of the reservation must be made no less than one full working day prior to the day of the event. (e.g. confirmation of an event scheduled for Wednesday must be made by 5 p.m. the preceding Monday.) If an organization, which has tentative reservations, is challenged by another interested renter for the date, a contract confirming the date must be signed within 24 hours of the reservation confirmation or the date shall be released to the challenger. Signing the contract will obligate the user to the full rental amount and any direct expenses incurred. Non-University organizations will be required to submit a certificate of insurance showing proper insurance coverage along with any deposit requirements.
BOX OFFICE OPERATIONS AND TICKET SALES
The O’Connell Center Associate Director is responsible for programming events on the Ticketmaster system, handling any special ticket orders needed by the O’Connell Center, and maintaining a list of all complimentary tickets.
Tickets for most O’Connell Center non-athletic revenue-producing events are sold through the University Box Office and through Ticketmaster online or charge by phone. Ticketmaster is a nationwide computerized ticketing system, which enables the buyer to purchase the best seats available at convenient locations. A service charge is paid by the buyer who purchases the tickets. This service charge is used to provide the Ticketmaster service and to help underwrite the cost of the University Box Office at (352)392-1653.
The University Box Office has information on O’Connell Center events and takes phone orders for tickets. The University Box Office is managed by the O’Connell Center and will support other entities on campus as requested (such as the School of Theater and Dance and Gator Growl)
The University Athletic Association is responsible for the advance and door sales of tickets for all University Athletic Association events held in the O’Connell Center. Information and tickets for athletic events may be obtained by contacting the University Athletic Association ticket office at (352) 375-4683 ext. 6800.
Tickets for all entertainment events open to the general public shall go on sale to the University and area communities simultaneously, unless the event is specifically run by Student Government Productions who is using student fees to pay for the event or for Fan Club pre-sales. This policy is intended to foster good community relations.
Day of show ticket sales are managed by in-house ticket sellers as coordinated by the University Box Office. Tickets for events will be sold at the O’Connell Center ticket booths located at gate 1 approximately one and a half hours prior to the show, but time and location varies from show to show.
In most cases money from ticket sales must be deposited in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center box office agency account for University and non-University sponsored events.
The Associate Director or Box Office Manager can provide Ticketmaster generated reports to the promoter. A statement of ticket sales and house expenses will also be presented to the promoter on the evening of the event when requested.
Most events feature reserved seating. Any exceptions require the approval of the Director of the O’Connell Center.
For ticketed events, it is required that each patron have a ticket, with the possible exception of small children. Specific policies vary on an event by event basis, however.
Any deviations from standard Box Office procedure must be approved by the Center’s Director.
UF prohibits smoking, the use of tobacco and the use of products intended to simulate smoking.
The use of cigarettes or other tobacco products on the UF campus, including in parking lots and vehicles, is not permitted and in violation of UF policy 6C1-2.022.
The O’Connell Center enforces a no re-entry policy during paid events in the facility. Anyone leaving the O’Connell Center during a paid event will not be allowed to re-enter the building without purchasing a new ticket. Any exceptions must be approved by the Center’s Director or his/her designee. Signs are posted at each entrance informing guests of this policy.
GUEST ADMISSION TO UNIVERSITY EVENTS
Guest admissions to any University activity may be permitted by the President or his/her designee when deemed appropriate and in the best interest of the University. Such admission may be by invitation or complimentary ticket.
Agreements with promoters and/or sponsors of events may allow complimentary tickets for University guests. Lists of all persons receiving complimentary tickets must be kept on file by the Director of the facility being leased or by the person issuing the complimentary tickets.
The University President shall delegate to the appropriate person responsible for these activities the authority to grant guest admissions. The use of these guest admissions should be limited as follows:
- Invited guests of the University who, in the opinion of the President’s designee, are special guests and to whom it would be beneficial to offer this courtesy.
- Members of Boards of Directors of the respective facilities or sponsoring organizations who are encouraged to attend in order that they may become better acquainted with the function or activity.
- Individuals or businesses providing and/or donating goods and/or services to help in the promotion or production of special events. (see below for further clarification)
- Businesses interested and/or participating in advertising programs. (see below for further clarification)
- All guest admissions must be accounted for and records maintained documenting the use of guest admissions. “IN-KIND” contributions should not be encouraged in lieu of payment per admission but accepted when circumstances warrant such action.
- The University official responsible for the function or event where guest admissions are allowed is solely responsible for the use and accountability of all guest tickets and admissions. Detailed lists of persons receiving tickets shall be kept on file by the responsible party. The sole exception to this policy is when the “actors”, “performers”, promoters or agents by contract receive complimentary tickets for their personal use. In this case, specific names of individual tickets will not be required.
- The University official responsible for the function or event shall submit, upon request, a detailed description of the guest admission practices, a list of events to which complimentary tickets were issued, and the number and value of guest admissions.
- Faculty or staff that may be required, in their official duties, to attend certain events.
- Any change to these practices must be authorized by the President.
- Each facility may establish guest admission practices specific for its respective needs, however, these practices must be authorized by the President.
These guidelines are intended to provide general direction for the use of guest tickets and admissions and are subject to change in accordance with rule
USE OF TICKETS FOR TRADE AND PROMOTIONAL PURPOSES
Complimentary Tickets: Complimentary tickets may be offered to individuals or businesses that perform services or donate goods or services to help in the promotion or production of special events held in the O’Connell Center. In kind contributions should not be encouraged in lieu of payment for admission but accepted when the circumstances warrant such action. All complimentary tickets utilized for these purposes shall be accounted for and records maintained, documenting the use of said tickets. In addition, tickets used for trade or promotional purposes shall be limited to an amount consistent with good business practices. The Center’s Director may put a limit on the number of tickets utilized for these purposes when deemed appropriate and in the best interest of the University.
Promotional Trade Outs: USERS of the O’Connell Center may utilize tickets to trade with the media (radio & TV stations) for air time (commercials or on the air event mentions) to help promote their event and generate ticket sales. Tickets may be traded with businesses for display advertising such as displaying posters, event exposure on marquees and billboards, or movie screen slide displays at movie theaters, and event promotions on restaurant menus or table tents, etc. Tickets may be traded with businesses in lieu of them making cash advertising buys on local media to promote the event.
Merchandise or Service Trade Outs: USERS may utilize tickets to trade with service businesses and vendors to help minimize their overhead expense in producing an event. Services may include, but are not limited to, limousine service, truck/car rentals, musical equipment, lodging, dry ice, catering service, dressing room furniture and printing, etc.
Trivia Give-Aways: USERS may trade tickets with businesses and vendors for items which may be utilized to help in the promotions of an event such as, but not limited to, trips with travel agencies, shirts, dinners, record albums, gift certificates. These items would be given away by the vendor as part of contests in the form of media event promotions.
With the rise in the number of “secondary ticket agencies / scalpers”, we have experienced an increase in the number of invalid tickets being presented at our entrance gates. The ONLY authorized ticket sales agents for the Stephen C. O’Connell Center are:
- University Box Office
- FloridaGators.com or call the University Athletic Associate for athletic tickets.
The Stephen C. O’Connell Center is not able to honor, replace or refund invalid tickets. Invalid tickets may be confiscated by the University Box Office. A copy of the tickets, which may be used to alert the point of purchase, will be provided at the customer’s request.
Customers with invalid tickets are welcome to purchase valid tickets at the University Box Office – seating location and price based upon availability.
FOOD CATERING AND CONCESSIONS
Most food catering in the O’Connell Center is provided by the University of Florida food service contractor. An outside catering service may be used provided that they carry the proper licenses and insurance, meet health and safety standards and have received approval through UF Business Services division. The Director must approve any plans to use an outside catering service. The cooking facilities within the O’Connell Center are for the exclusive use of the contracted concessionaire. Caterers should plan accordingly. Caterers must abide by all UF sustainability regulations and guidelines.
Concession stands providing food and beverages are available during major events and are administered by the University Athletic Association.
Contracts with musical groups and other artists are negotiated on an individual basis. An attempt is always made to negotiate with representatives of the groups which sell T-shirts, novelties, and in some cases, specialty food items, for a 25% allocation to the University. In some instances, the University negotiates a flat rate or per head charge on these items. This is dependent upon the type of activity and the volume anticipated by the vendor.
The President of the University of Florida is empowered to establish specific locations on campus where alcoholic beverages may be consumed by the general public. The Stephen C. O’Connell Center has not been established as one of these locations. However, permission to serve alcoholic beverages may be granted by the Associate Vice President of Business Affairs on an event by event basis in the Center. A standing approval has been granted for Men’s Basketball games in the Club spaces only. The UF Alcohol Approval Form may be found at https://www.uff.ufl.edu/docview/?docid=2431.
The Orange parking lot to the west of the O’Connell Center and the Green & Orange lots to the north are available for anyone with the appropriate parking decal during normal UF business hours, and are available on a first-come/first-serve basis at other times. Parking is not permitted in the O’Connell Center loading dock at the north end of the west lot. The west lot may be restricted during University working hours to allow for load-in or event production parking. UF Transportation and Parking Services may identify other areas of campus as special event parking on a case by case basis. Decals for campus parking lots can be obtained from http://parking.ufl.edu/.
POSTING OF MATERIALS AND BANNERS
Posting of signs advertising or promoting the use of alcoholic beverages or tobacco products within the Center is strictly prohibited. University policy on commercialization and solicitation are strictly adhered to. Materials and banners shall not be posted and/or displayed inside or outside of the O’Connell Center without the approval of the O’Connell Center Director.
Materials from organizations other than the O’Connell Center shall not be posted on walls or any area of the O’Connell Center without the approval of the Center’s Director.
- Non-Profit Uses
The O’Connell Center shall be available for rental to non-profit organizations for the purpose of exhibitions, trade shows, or special events. Products or services may be displayed and sold to the public by those participating within the event.
The fund raising activity to be conducted by any non-profit organization, and for which the facility is to be rented, shall be subject to the prior approval of the Vice President of Business Affairs or his/her designee.
- Non-Public Trade Shows
The O’Connell Center shall be available for rental to private businesses for the purpose of trade shows, provided that said trade shows are not open to the public and are not for the purpose of retail sales.
- General Commercial Uses
The O’Connell Center shall be available for rental to private businesses or commercial enterprises for the purpose of public trade shows or exhibitions (such as boat shows, floral sales, car shows, and antique shows) which may include retail sales, provided that all local vendors who are selling a similar product or offering a similar service are invited to participate. Any agreement entered into with the user shall specifically require that the user invite local merchants to participate in the show.
The Director of the O’Connell Center may establish guidelines to ensure that a reasonable notice and opportunity to participate is given to local merchants.
- Direct Activities by the Stephen C. O’Connell Center
The Director of the O’Connell Center shall have the right to directly organize retail sales events and to lease space to vendors who desire to participate therein. The University of Florida shall provide all liability insurance for events which are organized directly by the O’Connell Center.
GENERAL GUIDELINES AFFECTING ALL USERS
The University shall not be held responsible for any damage, loss or theft of products or materials of the User or any exhibitor who has sublet space from the O’Connell Center’s User while these products or materials are on University premises, including within the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. A hold harmless provision shall be included within the written contract to be executed by a User.
All Users shall be obligated to provide a minimum of two million dollars (CSL) insurance coverage for the entire contract period of rental of the O’Connell Center. The University of Florida, the University of Florida Board of Trustees, and the State of Florida shall be included as additional named insured within the insurance policy. A copy of the insurance certificate and policy must be submitted to the Director of the O’Connell Center or his/her designee a minimum of fifteen (15) working days prior to the start of the User’s lease of the Center.
The Director of the O’Connell Center may require insurance coverage greater and/or less than two million dollars (CSL) if he/she determines it to be in the best interest of the University.
Any User utilizing the Center must agree to comply with all appropriate state and federal laws, University rules, regulations and guidelines and fire and police department rules and regulations. In addition, the User shall agree to use and occupy the premises for no purpose which is considered indecent under the law.
Any food or non-alcoholic beverage products to be sold or dispensed must meet the approval of the Director of the O’Connell Center.
There shall be no sales of products or services on the grounds of the O’Connell Center facility in conjunction with an exposition, trade show or special event without prior written approval of the Vice President of Business Affairs or his/her designee.
The User shall be responsible for the payment of all expenses incurred in connection with the set-up and use of the facility.
A rental structure shall be established to determine rental for profit and non-profit organizations desiring to use the O’Connell Center facility. The Director of the O’Connell Center shall have discretion in the negotiation of the rental fee to be charged and may adjust the rental fee and/or waiver an expense when it is in the best interest of the University.
The O’Connell Center has a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. These procedures, which support the University’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, are on file in the O’Connell Center administrative office. The plan provides an overview of the emergency management system and organizational structure for the O’Connell Center and the University, outlining coordination, management, and general concept of operations. The plan may be activated in conjunction with the University CEMP or in response to an emergency affecting the department.
CAMERA POLICY & PROHIBITED ITEMS
The Stephen C. O’Connell Center has implemented the following policies to ensure a safe, enjoyable event experience for all guests.
Sporting events – Small personal cameras (non-professional) are permitted. Examples include camera phones and point & shoot cameras. All professional camera equipment must be accompanied with appropriate media credentials and remain in designated areas. Professional equipment includes detachable lenses/flashes, tripods, monopods, large camera bags, etc. For the safety of the athletes flash photography is strictly prohibited with the exception of media who have been approved by the University Athletic Association. Video recording devices are not permitted without advance approval from center management.
Concerts and other events – The permitted use of cameras varies from event to event. We strongly encourage you to review the specific event page on our Web site for the most updated information. As a general rule most shows do not allow cameras, video or audio recording at their event. Cameras with detachable lenses are deemed professional in nature and will require event-issued media credentials.
The policy relative to restriction of cameras with detachable lenses is endorsed by the University Athletic Association and is encouraged for public assembly venues such as the O’Connell Center by Homeland Security and is consistent with best practices within the industry.
The following additional items are prohibited at the O’Connell Center:
- Outside food and drink
- Alcohol, drugs, weapons, fireworks, and explosives. Note: Building security has the right to prohibit any items that are deemed a potential safety hazard or security concern.
- Laser pointers, air horns, and noisemakers
- Helium balloons
- Bicycles, roller blades, skates, skateboards, and hover-boards
- Video cameras, audio recorders, cameras with detachable lenses, and cameras with fixed lenses longer than 6”
- Oversized bags (defined as 15” x 9” x 6”)
- Laptops and tablet computers. Tablet computers are prohibited for all concerts and ticketed special events but will be admitted for most other events, including athletic events.
- Google glass & Snapchat Spectacles
- Selfie sticks, monopods, and tripods
- Smoking and tobacco use are prohibited in all facilities and areas of the University of Florida campus with no exceptions. For the purposes of this policy, “tobacco use” means the personal use of any tobacco product, whether intended to be lit or not, which shall include smoking, as defined above, as well as the use of an electronic cigarette or any device intended to simulate smoking and the use of smokeless tobacco, including snuff, chewing tobacco, smokeless pouches, any form of loose-leaf, smokeless tobacco, and the use of unlit cigarettes, cigars and pipe tobacco.
We will ask you to return all prohibited items to your car; the Arena is not responsible for items left behind.
BACK TO TOP
ENTRY SECURITY POLICIES
All attendees are subject to a security screening prior to entry of the facility for all events. Screening procedures may include bag searches, use of metal detectors, or pat downs.
ADA Policies & Services
The staff of the O’Connell Center is committed to assisting persons with disabilities. Anyone needing assistance should contact the administrative office at 352-392-5500, or by TDD 1-800-955-8771.
PROGRAMS AND ACCESSIBILITY
Activities in the O’Connell Center include instruction, entertainment, recreation, intramurals, sporting events, trade shows and lectures. All of these programs are accessible to the disabled for either participation or viewing. The O’Connell Center has electronically controlled doors at all gates to assist disabled patrons and guests with entering and exiting the facility. Elevators are available at the administrative gate and gate 4 for access to the service level and the 200 level. During special events, the elevator may not be accessible due to the specific security requirements of the event.
The general public, including patrons with wheelchairs, is not permitted on the arena floor for men’s basketball, women’s basketball, volleyball, and gymnastics. Due to the complexity, size and physical setting of these events, there is no available space for seating. Available seating for disabled patrons for most events is located along the concourse level of the arena in sections 101, 105, 109, 115, and 117. Additional seating is also located along the upper level of the arena in sections 201, 211, 213, 222, 226, and 228. One companion may sit with the person with disabilities in this seating area, both patrons must have tickets for accessible seating sections. Show requirements may limit the number of accessible seats for persons with disabilities. Working personnel in wheelchairs are permitted on the floor with proper credentials.
Tickets are available for persons with disabilities, as well as companion tickets, for all events held in the O’Connell Center. Patrons should request disabled accessible tickets from the University Box Office and/or TicketMaster outlets for special events, and the University Athletic Association for athletic events. For free and general admission events, staff in employee uniforms are available to provide assistance to patrons on a first come, first serve basis. Due to limited space in these areas, we only allow one guest to sit with the disabled patron but would not break up a party of three.
Patrons with wheelchairs are allowed unlimited access to the arena floor for trade shows, expos, classes recreational activities, and banquets.
Two lifts for disabled patrons are available for University events (e.g. commencements and speeches) to provide stage accessibility during the programs. A five-day advance notice should be given to have lift accessibility. Special arrangements for disabled graduates must be arranged in advance by contacting the Dean of Students Office, Disability Resource Center at 352-392-8565.
More than one percent of the O’Connell Center’s fixed seating has moveable armrests as required by the ADA.
For the location of ADA seats inside Exactech Arena, please refer to the Seating Charts page.
The O’Connell Center has restroom access for disabled patrons on the main concourse, as well as the men’s and women’s locker rooms and just off the Zone 1 hallway on the service level. The Center also has 6 Family/Gender Neutral restrooms on the main concourse. All of the O’Connell Center accessible toilet stalls are equipped with safety bars. Toilet accessories and urinals are mounted at ADA regulation height. One lavatory in each restroom has a tilted mirror and an accessible faucet.
Concession stands at all gates have been updated to include a counter section that meets ADA accessibility requirements. Concession employees will read menu boards to those who need assistance.
There are currently 28 handicapped parking spaces (26 in the main lot and 2 in the west lot) adjacent to the building. These spaces are designated with the official disabled persons sign and reserved for persons with the appropriate parking decal or permit. These spaces are available on a first come basis, including the two in the west lot when it is reserved and not available to the general public. There is a wheelchair ramp located near the parking spaces in the center of the west lot.
Assistance for the Hearing Impaired:
Sign interpreters for the hearing impaired can be requested by calling the O’Connell Center administrative office (a minimum of 10 business days is required). Hearing assisted devices are routinely available for commencement ceremonies and speaking engagements; however, due to show constraints and availability, we cannot guarantee this service for other shows.
Event advertisements and activity information includes the Florida Relay Service TDD number (1-800-955-8771) for the hearing impaired. The O’Connell Center requires all outside event promoters to include the following working in all printed advertisements: “For TDD assistance call 1-800-955-8771” If this number does not appear in the ad, the Center will take necessary action to notify the promoter.
The use of segways as personal mobility devices within the O’Connell Center will be determined based on specific event requirements and restrictions. Please call the O’Connell Center’s main administrative office at 352-392-5500 prior to an event for more information on whether the use of a segway will be permitted.
ADA Seating on the pool deck in the natatorium is currently not available for patrons. Seating for persons in wheelchairs for swimming events is located on the concourse level overlooking the pool deck. Access to the pool concourse is available via the Gate 2 lobby. For daily recreational class use, the pool is accessible by way of the men’s and women’s locker rooms on the service level, or by using the ramp at the Gate 3, service level pool deck entrance. Elevators are located at the administrative gate & gate 4 for access to the service level. The locker rooms are ADA compliant for restrooms, showers and emergency egress. Access to the pool by way of the elevators at may be restricted when there are paid or special events taking place in the main arena. A lift for disabled patrons is available to assist with entering and exiting the pool; it is available and operated by the lifeguards or instructors for their respective programs. Disabled patrons should not attempt to use the lift without the assistance of a trained staff member.
O’Connell Center Advisory Board
Interested in serving as a student member on the O’Connell Center Advisory Board? Serve, gain valuable leadership experience, and help make decisions that benefit all students at UF. Terms for each student advisory board are an entire academic year. Qualifications include being a full-time UF student (12 hours undergraduate, 9 hours graduate), a minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA, and not on Conduct Probation. For information on Advisory Board applications, please contact the O’Connell Center administrative office at 352-392-5500.
FACULTY/STAFF COMMUNITY MEMBERS
When a faculty, staff or community member vacates a position on the Advisory Board, the Advisory Board and the Center’s Director make recommendations for a new member to the Vice President of Business Affairs. He/she then makes a recommendation to the President, or his/her designee, who makes the final approval for a new member. Faculty and staff members of the Advisory Board represent various areas of the University that have a special interest in the O’Connell Center.
The Vice President for Student Affairs will request that a Student Affairs staff member, without vote, chair the Screening Selection Committee. The Chair has the responsibility of convening the group and providing basic staff work needed. The Screening Selection Committee shall be composed of the Chair, a current member of the board who will not be serving the following year, and a staff member from the O’Connell Center appointed by the Director. The student members on the screening Selection Committee are appointed without reference to their campus title, position, or organizational affiliation. The students should, to the extent possible, represent a cross section of campus in areas such as sex, race, place of residence, class and college. The responsibilities of the Screening Selection Committee are as follows:
- Prepare appropriate application forms and post them online. Applications are available on the Student Affairs Website as well as on the O’Connell Center Website.
- Publicize the work of the Committee and the availability of applications.
- Receive all applications, carefully review them and conduct Committee interviews.
- Recommend students to the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Student Body President. The ranking system is decided by the Chair of the Screening Selection Committee.
- The Student Body President will select six students which he/she will then recommend to the Vice President for Student Affairs for approval.
- The O’Connell Center’s Director, in consultation with the Vice President for Student Affairs, will recommend one of the students selected to serve as Chairperson.
The Student Body President can recommend someone for the Advisory Board who was not chosen by the Screening Selection Committee; however, the Vice President for Student Affairs can reject such a nomination and would expect the Student Body President to provide a reason for the exception.
- The Chair of the Screening Selection Committee should be appointed by the Vice President for Student Affairs in early March.
- The Chair will work with the Vice President for Student Affairs Office in preparing the appropriate application forms and assuring that the Advisory Board positions are advertised extensively throughout campus. The deadline for applications is normally the first week of April.
- The Screening Selection Committee shall recommend names to the Vice President for Student Affairs and the President of the Student Body by a deadline of mid-April.
- The President of the Student Body shall make his/her recommendations to the Vice President for Student Affairs.
ADVISORY BOARD FUNCTIONS
- Works with the O’Connell Center Director to review expenses and profits. Responsible for reviewing and approving the annual compilation of the O’Connell Center budget.
- Reviews annual budget analyzing components of revenue and expense.
- Annually reviews the fees charged for various uses of the facility and approves the Rate Card.
- Holds a mid-year budget review to compare actual expenditures to budgeted expenditures for the six month period, and makes appropriate recommendations for the remainder of the year.
- Reviews ongoing facility projects as well as requests made to alter the O’Connell Center. This includes items such as space allocations, the addition of furnishings and equipment, and proposed construction/renovation projects.
- Reviews existing operations and use of the facility, the marketing of the O’Connell Center and its events, and proposes new concepts for increasing distribution of event information.
Overview of Event and Technical Services
The O’Connell Center offers event and technical services as a production support service for a variety of athletic, educational and entertainment events at the University of Florida. These services are available to any University of Florida organization. Other state educational institutions, governmental agencies and non-profit organizations are selectively served when equipment and staff are available, with priority given to University of Florida functions.
Production services range from producing small events to major concerts. Small events usually require only one person to operate and transport equipment and include:
- one to four input PA systems
- press conferences
- other small speaking engagements
Intermediate size events require a supervisor, production lead, and a crew to set up, operate and transport the equipment. Some typical intermediate size events are:
- outdoor movies
- sporting events
- large lectures
Large scale productions require not only a full crew and production lead, but generally a lighting director, electrician, sound engineer, and production coordinator. Such large events include:
- Gator Growl
- paid concerts
- major free concerts
Major events are normally cooperative production efforts with other companies or University agencies. In providing these services, the O’Connell Center represents the University of Florida, ensuring compliance with University and state policies, procedures and safety regulations. Event Staff services are linked to production services on medium and large events. Protection of equipment and personnel is vital to the operation of an event on stage and back stage. Event Staff services also extend to crowd control and parking security. At times, event staff is used for major events at which no production services are required. Event Staff’s main goal is to protect people and equipment from harm by adherence to University rules and regulations. Event Staff are instructed to obtain police assistance when difficult situations arise.
The Event and Technical Services staff is made up primarily of OPS student employees guided by full-time employees. The entire Event and Technical Services support staff consists of approximately 400 to 500 student employees. Many students work for Event and Technical Services in key positions such as Event Staff Manager, Changeover Manager, Technical Show One and House Electrician, and various supervisory positions.