It appears The University of Texas has finally zeroed in an an exact location for its plans for a brand new arena for the Texas Longhorns basketball program, per university president Greg Fenves, which will be located just south of Mike A. Myers stadium.
“The campus master plan developed in 2012 called for the land under the Erwin Center to be used for future expansion of the Dell Medical School and the UT Health District. As we prepare for that, we will also ensure that our outstanding men’s and women’s basketball programs can continue to compete in a great arena,” Fenves told the 375-member Development Board.
Essentially, the idea behind building the new arena right on the Forty Acres is to enhance the student and fan experience, while also simplifying the daily life of student athletes.
“Coaches Karen Aston and Shaka Smart want the next facility to be on campus, where it is easier for our student-athletes to travel between their dorms, classes and practice,” Fenves added. “It also makes the games more accessible to our student fans. By choosing a central location, we will make the experience of going to a game more intimate and exciting for all who participate.”
“In addition to serving the needs of our student-athletes, fan experience is a top priority for Texas Athletics,” said University of Texas Men’s Athletics Director Mike Perrin. “Our goal is to have an arena on our campus that can provide the platform for a great atmosphere and a positive fan experience for our men’s and women’s basketball games. While our vision is that the arena be basketball-centric, we will look to design it to allow for versatility in hosting other events.”
Along with serving as the new home to Smart and Aston’s Longhorns, the new venue will host concerts and various events.
It’s unclear what the proposed capacity of the new arena will be, but it’s likely it won’t quite be the size of the Frank Erwin Center, which can seat upwards of 16,000 spectators.
While this is all still very much a work in progress, The University of Texas has now taken a significant step toward cementing and ultimately breaking ground on the location of the arena that will replace the Frank Erwin Center. The Drum will then be demolished for the Dell Medical School expansion.
Per the university release, the next steps will be to determine the scope and costs of the new arena, which is expected to be completed within the next five-to-seven years.