Men's Basketball

Texas regents scheduled to vote Thursday on new basketball arena, moving project forward

Posted December 17th, 2018

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Texas officials are dribbling toward a new basketball arena.

The UT System Board of Regents is scheduled to approve a measure on Thursday that will turn 6.64 acres of land over to Oak View Group LLC for the construction of “an events arena to replace the Frank C. Erwin Special Events Center.”

A parking lot currently sits on the acreage just south of Mike A. Myers Stadium between Robert Dedman Drive and Red River Street. In 2015, the American-Statesman reported that site was the school’s primary target for a new on-campus arena.

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The new facility would be configured to hold about 10,000 for UT basketball games, a source familiar with the process said. Athletic director Chris Del Conte has talked openly about a “garage door concept” where the upper deck could be shut off to limit capacity.

All total, the new arena could be configured to hold possibly 16,000-17,000 when counting floor seats, the source said.

Any new arena would have suites and a lounge for premium season-ticket holders.

Oak View Group has a long history with arena construction and management. The company based in Los Angeles has numerous partnerships with NBA facilities nationwide.

If approved by the regents as expected, construction could begin this summer, a source familiar with the process said.

Construction cranes will soon be omnipresent around the Texas athletic department. The school is set to start the south end zone expansion of Royal-Memorial Stadium this winter.

“The university does not discuss regents items before the board votes on them,” UT spokesman Gary Susswein said.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a developing story.

Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com.

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