Don't get me wrong, I have some great memories of how that building has added so much to the spirit of what is The University of Texas.... oh wait, it hasn't.
I hope Powers and Dodds take a long LONG look at building a new arena on or near campus.
I guess you don't have to tear down the Frank all-together. Use the Frank for the practices, coach and school admin offices, concerts (Great ACL/SXSW venue.. if you can get a beer), steal the Stars from Cedar Park... and the Torros too, and make it the official site of all sports now housed in Gregory and the UIL Championship site for basketball/volleyball nd maybe even the tennis finals. Graduations.
Hell maybe do some renovations to it.
But UT Basketball deserves better. Build an ARENA worthy of a top 5 basketball program. Which we are, and will be to come under the right conditions.
Here's how to do it:
Use The ESPNUT money.
Use Donor Money.
Pass a state bond (it will pay for itself in sales takes, beer taxes (cmon it's 2011), and however else the city/state can squeeze a few bucks out of the deal).I would not be suprised if UT could host a final 4 (People love Austin as a destination city) that means hotel taxes collected, get it done.
Hell build a parking lot and charge for spots.
Here's how the new arena should look.
Lower the floor with an immediate lower ring Student Student section with metal bleacher seats encirciling the court 10 rows deep a'la Rupp. Limit these to the craziest sports fans. Drive up demand. Encourace standing, high energy and all aroud rowdiness from students.
Make an elevated (4ft higher) section for season and alumni seats above a concrete wall (keep in student sound) . Keep Similar to what is now called the "lower arena". Preferences obviously given to donors for front row center and they won't even have to stand while the students go crazy, and they could bring the kute kiddos and grandkiddos. Behind the rim on that level can be reserved for overflow Students or band. All unclaimed/unsold seats in this area are sold on a first come first serve basis similar to today lower level.
Layer of Luxury Boxes for entertaining business clients or recruits above that.
And a nosebleeds section that overhangs the lower level as far as possiible, think Bass Concert Hall, steeper but otherwise similar to current donut setup. Make the Center Court Mezz reasonably cheap, and the End Mezz dirt cheap and free to charities...and crappy games.
Maybe afer this team finishes it's run we will take a closer look at the profitibility and excitiment of having a National Recognized Basketball team here in Austin. Enjoy, but think ahead. The time fir renovations/renewal is ahead.