BREAKING: New $183 Million Arena Coming to University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa
It's official: the University of Alabama's basketball teams and gymnastics squad are getting a new 10,400-seat arena in Tuscaloosa.
After years of whispered rumors that grew louder each season, the University of Alabama System's Board of Trustees' Physical Properties Committee voted Thursday afternoon to approve the preliminary project scope and budget for a new athletic arena on UA's campus.
UA's Athletic Director Greg Byrne presented the proposal to the Board and said although early talks focused on renovating the existing and storied Coleman Coliseum, ultimately studies showed the existing facility ranked in the bottom third of athletic arenas in the SEC.
"Based on our observations and everything we have, we would recommend building a new arena," Byrne said.
Byrne proposed the construction of a new $183 million arena, as well as a new $27 million golf facility -- both measures are key parts of the athletic department's Crimson Standard capital initiative.
Byrne proposed a new 10,400-seat facility, with at least 2,200 seats reserved for University of Alabama students, guaranteeing that students would keep at least as many seats as they have in Coleman.
As rumored, the recommended location for the new facility will be near Rhoads Softball Stadium between McFarland Boulevard and Peter Bryce Boulard.
As for the golf facility, Byrne presented a plan to build the new facility off Jack Warner Parkway around a mile away from campus.
He said the proposed 164-acre site is already owned by the University, and proposed building a huge clubhouse and a 9-hole golf course with multiple routings to play for Alabama's men's and women's golf teams.
The committee recommended Stage 1 Approval for both facilities Thursday afternoon. The full board is expected to give final approval Friday.
This is a developing story, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for more details as they become available.