SBD/December 17, 2013/Facilities

Univ. Of Arizona's McKale Center Set For $30M In Upgrades To Begin In May

The Univ. of Arizona yesterday formally announced a $30M phase of renovations for McKale Center, to include "new seating, upgraded lighting and a new floor in time for next season," according to Bruce Pascoe of the ARIZONA DAILY STAR. Also, a new videoboard "will be finished in time for the Pac-12 season." The lower bowl seats will be "padded and all will be blue, except for enough red seats to make an Arizona 'A' in the Zona Zoo section." UA AD Greg Byrne said that seating capacity will be "about the same as the current 14,545 ... though fans will have new seating and eventually, new restrooms and concessions." Byrne said that the school has "already received pledges" for $12.5M toward the first phase of the project. Pascoe notes that includes "benefactors Jeannie and Cole Davis kicking in" $6M. The project, most of which "will begin in May," is eventually scheduled to hit $80M "after improvements (and possibly an enclosure) to the outside concourse at an undetermined point in the future" (ARIZONA DAILY STAR, 12/17). UA President Ann Weaver Hart said, "We want McKale to be an iconic building with a new facelift." In Tucson, Anthony Gimino notes construction also will include "a new women's basketball locker room, new video rooms for each basketball program, a new coaches' locker room for men's basketball and a new player's lounge" (TUSCONCITIZEN.com, 12/16). The ARIZONA DAILY STAR's Pascoe noted there "won't be a timetable for future phases" until pledges exceed $30M. Byrne said that UA expects the entire $80M project "to be financed with donations, though he said funds from the Pac-12's television contracts may be used for collateral in the event that the pledges default" (ARIZONA DAILY STAR, 12/17). 
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