UC trustees approve $87M arena renovation plan

Posted at 7:21 PM, Dec 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-15 19:21:42-05

CINCINNATI -- Not to be left out of the renovation mix, the University of Cincinnati basketball teams will be playing in an overhauled Fifth Third Arena by Fall 2018.

The UC Board of Trustees approved an $87 million privately funded plan to renovate the arena on Tuesday.

The arena home to the university’s men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball teams.

“It’s a transformational day for UC Athletics and the University,” Director of Athletics Mike Bohn said via a release.

Officials said the cost of the project has grown because of the complex nature of renovating a 26-year-old building to state-of-the-art modern standards.

Construction is scheduled to start in April 2017 and should be completed by Fall 2018.

“Our entire University has grown and transformed into one of the best in the country over the past 15 years, both academically and aesthetically,” Men’s Basketball Head Coach Mick Cronin said. “This arena will be awesome. The planning has been meticulous and the first-class, new design is as good as I’ve seen across all of college basketball. This building is about our future and is a testament to the commitment our University and donors have toward our programs. Today is a great day if you love Bearcats basketball.”

The board had previously approved a $2.2 million design completion phase done by Populous/Moody Nolan.

Proposed improvements include: a 360-degree seating bowl, new high-definition scoreboard, ribbon boards, sound system, LED lighting system, new restrooms and concessions facilities, a new upper-level concourse, expanded food and beverage options and more.

“The intimate design will create an up close and personal energy and a stronger home-court advantage for the women’s sports programs,” Volleyball Head Coach Molly Alvey said. “Our recruits have seen the plans and they’re fired up.”

It would also include a new main entrance and plaza as well as new locker room spaces, premium seating, an arena club, a concourse club, lounge seating and a new Bearcats Lounge.

“We have strong commitments through the silent giving phase, including long-term suite agreements,” Bohn said. “We anticipate a continued high degree of interest from all levels of our loyal fan base.”

During the construction phase, home athletic events will be conducted off-campus during the 2017-2018 season.

Those interested in making a gift to the construction of the arena should contact the UCATS office at 513-556-0735.