By: Daniel Massa – Sports Editor
As the University of Dayton Arena approaches its 50th year in operation, Vice President/Director of Athletics Neil Sullivan announced on Jan. 8 that the athletic department would conduct a feasibility study to explore options for updating the building.
The arena will turn 50 in 2019. The last large-scale renovation occurred in 2002 and included the creation of the Time Warner Cable Flight Deck and updates to pre-existing suites and loge seating areas. The Donoher Basketball Center, which is connected to the arena and houses both teams’ locker and training facilities, underwent a $4 million renovation last year.
“This is the first step, in a long-term process, to provide future generations of students, alums, and friends of the University a first-class experience, and continue to use UD Arena as an asset for the entire campus and Dayton community,” Sullivan said in a press release announcing the study.
According to the press release, the study may focus initially on improvements to the concourses and bowl seating areas.
“Now is the time to examine the concourses and bowl area of the Arena which have not had substantial upgrades since it was built,” Sullivan said.
UD has partnered with consulting firm Conventions, Sports and Leisure International (CSL) for the study.
A 10-to-15 minute survey was sent via email to fans for their input on what they believe to be the most pressing aspects of the arena that need to be updated.
“We need and value your insight as we study this project,” Sullivan wrote in the email. “Your participation is critical as the direct-market feedback is essential to evaluate the level of support for various seating options, fan amenities, and other areas of arena improvements.”
The survey included artists’ renderings of potential upgrades both inside and out. As it is very early in the process, any plans are subject to change.
The arena currently boasts a 13,455 seat capacity, and the men’s basketball program has finished in the top 30 in the NCAA in home attendance for 17 consecutive years. The arena has also hosted more NCAA Tournament games than any other venue (109), and the tournament has begun in Dayton every year since 2001 with the creation of the play-in game that evolved into the First Four.
To take the survey, click here.
Photo: UD Arena Photo Caption (MG0330): UD Arena, shown earlier this year during a men’s basketball game, will turn 50 years old in 2019. A feasbility study announced earlier this month will examine the possibilities for renovating the home of UD men’s and women’s basketball. Chris Santucci/Multimedia Editor