The Stony Brook mascot Wolfie and fans cheer before action...

The Stony Brook mascot Wolfie and fans cheer before action against Albany in the the America East Tournament championship men's basketball game in Stony Brook on Saturday, March 15, 2014. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Pritchard Gym may have shaken for the last time.

Unless Stony Brook hosts a game in one of the postseason tournaments, Saturday's loss in the America East championship game marked the end of the gym's run as the home of SBU athletics. The 1,630-seat gym -- whose cramped quarters, loud fans and shaking stands made it an unwelcoming place for visiting teams -- will be replaced next year by Stony Brook Arena.

The 40,000-square-foot arena, which will seat 4,000 fans, is undergoing a $21.1-million renovation and is expected to be completed by the fall.

Pritchard was the home of Stony Brook basketball and volleyball from 1969-1990, when games switched to the new arena. The little gym took up hosting duties again in 2008 at the beginning of the renovations, although a 2010 NIT game against Illinois and the 2012 America East final were played in the arena during that span.

Stony Brook had a 23-game conference home winning streak snapped earlier this season, and the Seawolves had a 23-1 home record against America East teams the past three seasons before Saturday's loss.

Though there has been much ballyhoo about Pritchard's home-court advantage, fans seem to be ready for the switch.

"It'll be the same energy, and it's always an advantage to be on home turf,'' said Sandy Miller, 55, a season-ticket holder.

Michael Specht, 45, said that although he can't ignore the up-side of playing at Pritchard -- "there's definitely an advantage because we're so close to the court'' -- he'll welcome the new arrangement with open arms.

"In the new stadium, you can fit 4,500 fans,'' he said. "It's going to be nuts. I think it's even better.''