Built in 1950, the Coliseum serves as a memorial to the more than 10,000 Kentuckians killed in World War I and the Korean Conflict. A one million dollar renovation was completed in 1990, when a state-of-the-art weight training facility, new basketball and athletics administration offices, a players' lounge, and a team meeting room were added. As a result of the renovation, the seating capacity was reduced from 11,500 to 8,500.
The Coliseum has been the site of numerous events, including NCAA Volleyball Tournament action and the NCAA Volleyball Final Four in 1983. Also held in the Coliseum have been first-round NCAA women's basketball matches, NCAA gymnastics regionals, and in 1991, the SEC Gymnastics Championship. Many other community and University activities also take place there.
The Coliseum serves as the home location for UK's women's basketball and volleyball contests as well as gymnastics meets. For 24 seasons, prior to the opening of downtown's 23-000-seat Rupp Arena, the Coliseum housed the Wildcats men's basketball team.