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Volume 25 No. 61
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College Facility Notes: Lease Approved For UAB Football Stadium

In Birmingham, Ty West reported the Univ. of Alabama System BOT "approved a lease agreement that will make the planned downtown stadium at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex the home" of UAB football starting in '21. The BOT "voted to approve a 20-year lease agreement between UAB and the BJCC Authority." The lease will start Aug. 1, 2021. For the first 10 years, rent will be $25,000 "per regular season home games, $15,000 for postseason games hosted at the stadium and $10,000 for the spring practice game." The lease contract "will be terminated" if UAB after 10 years is "not in compliance with all requirements of maintaining a football program in good standing with the NCAA or if the BJCC is in default" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 7/16).

TAKE ME HOME, COUNTRY ROADS: West Virginia AD Shane Lyons said that the school will roll out a $100M "facility campaign headlined" by $55M in football upgrades this season. In West Virginia, Sean Isabella noted the enhancements, part of a "five-year timeframe, include a new locker room, team meeting room, and coaches offices." The WVU Coliseum Complex will "receive a new video board and updated seats." Additionally, the Olympic sports will "receive a new weight room and training room." A golf facility is "also part of the project." Lyons said, "I felt we were behind some in the facility race. We're making strides to catch up with that now" (Beckley REGISTER-HERALD, 7/15).

NORMAN NEEDS: In Oklahoma City, Berry Tramel wrote the city of Norman needs a new Oklahoma basketball arena "a lot more than OU needs a new OU arena." Lloyd Noble Center is 43 years old, but is "still a solid basketball coliseum." College basketball in general has "struggled with attendance in the last decade or more," and arenas "rarely are the problem." Lots of issues have "staggered college basketball." A new OU arena "won't solve most of those problems." OU AD Joe Castiglione said that the school has a "master plan for renovating Lloyd Noble Center" (OKLAHOMAN, 7/15).

MO MONEY, MO PROBLEMS: In Las Vegas, Mark Anderson notes the cost of construction for UNLV's Fertitta Football Complex practice facility has "increased significantly," causing school officials to "delay building the interior of the second floor until additional funds are raised." UNLV AD Desiree Reed-Francois said that the "total cost has risen" to $31M, up from the $24-26M projected cost when the project was announced two years ago (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 7/18).