TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama basketball is getting a new home.
The Alabama Board of Trustees voted Friday to approve Stage I of the plan for a new on-campus arena unveiled by athletics director Greg Byrne on Thursday.
The new venue is set to seat 10,136 and will replace 54-year-old Coleman Coliseum which has a capacity of 15,383. Like Coleman, the complex, which is currently being referred to as the University of Alabama Athletic Competition Arena, would host both the men’s and women’s basketball teams as well as the gymnastics team.
The design of the new arena will bring fans closer to the action on the court, a contrast to Coleman Coliseum which has been criticized for its cavernous atmosphere. It will feature student seating around the majority of the lower bowl in addition to new premium options in club, loge, courtside and lower-level preferred seating.
The arena will cost $183 million and is part of part of Phase II of the Crimson Standard initiative, which also includes a $27 million golf facility that was also approved Friday.
More approvals will take place before construction begins. However, the board's decision to greenlight the project clears the first hurdle of a plan that has been in the works since 2018.
Several sites have been considered for the location of the new arena, the most popular being on the corner of Campus Drive and Peter Bryce Boulevard across from Rhoads Stadium and the student recreation center. There is no current timetable for the completion of the project, but a call for construction bids is set to begin in April of 2023.
With the addition of the new arena, Coleman Coliseum will serve as the day-to-day practice and preparation site for the programs and will also continue to house the multiple departments currently located within the building.
The new golf facility will be located south of Jack Warner Parkway alongside Kicker Road in Tuscaloosa. It is set to feature a nine-hole golf course, driving range, short-game practice area and a golf house. The 18,000-square-foot golf house would include a Hall of Fame lobby and golf heritage display. It would also have space for offices, locker rooms and lounge areas for both the men’s and the women’s teams as well as a stretch room, putting studio and three indoor hitting bays.
Alabama’s golf teams currently operate out of Ol’ Colony Golf Complex in Tuscaloosa, which is also open to the public.
In addition to Friday’s approvals for the sports arena and golf facility, the board also approved the final budget for the renovations of Bryant-Denny Stadium. Those upgrades were originally slated to cost roughly $107 million but went up an additional $2.3 million due to site conditions, minor scope changes and extra safety measures added on account of COVID-19.
Alabama New Arena/Facilities Proposal
Renderings are conceptual and subject to change. All projects are subject to approval of the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees and dependent upon fundraising success.