University of Alabama (UA)’s Board of Trustees recently approved plans for the construction of a new US$ 183M UA Athletic Competition Arena that was proposed by Greg Byrne, the director of athletics for the Crimson Tide teams. The arena is being developed as part of the second phase of the university’s Crimson Standard Initiative, which is a 10-year US$ 600M capital initiative intended to enhance student-athlete experiences.
It will replace the 54-year old Coleman Coliseum in Alabama and be used for men’s and women’s basketball, and gymnastics competitions. The project also covers a US$ 27M practice facility for golf programs, which includes a 9-hole golf course, short game practice area, driving range, and golf house.
Initially, a US$ 150M renovation was proposed for Coleman Coliseum when the Crimson Standard campaign began in 2018. But Byrne and his team came to the conclusion that rebuilding was better, after touring various countries and comparing newly constructed and renovated arenas. This resulted in new plans for the UA Athletic Competition Arena. It also decided that the Coleman Coliseum would be used to carry out administrative tasks and also serve as a practice facility for women’s basketball.
UA Athletic Competition Arena to have 10,400 seating capacity, with 2,200 student seating capacity
The UA Athletic Competition Arena is designed to have a 10,400 seating capacity, with a student seating capacity at 2,200. Student seats will occupy about three-fourths of the lower bowl of the arena. According to Nate Oats, the Alabama basketball coach, bringing the fans and students closer to the action could make a huge difference in the home-court advantage, which would create an exciting game-day experience for the team and fans.
Funding for the UA Athletic Competition Arena will come from two sources which are the Crimson Standard donations and Crimson bonds. About US$ 120M will be provided as bonds, while the remaining US$ 62M will be amassed through donations.
The University is still undergoing the site selection process, and several sites are being considered. But according to Byrne, the most likely position would be off of McFarland Boulevard. Calls for construction bids are expected to commence by April 2023.