UT to build new basketball arena on campus

11 April 2017

The University of Texas is eyeing a spot near the Mike A. Myers track stadium as the new home for Longhorns basketball.

University of Texas at Austin President Gregory L. Fenves told members of the university’s Development Board on April 7 that the school is considering a plan to build the successor to the Frank Erwin Center on campus. The university said it has not yet determined the precise location, scope or cost of the facility, but said the new building will replace the Erwin Center in the next five to seven years.

“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 Development Board, a 375-member group of UT alumni and supporters that advises the president.

“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. It also makes the games more accessible to our student fans,” Fenves said. “By choosing a central location, we will make the experience of going to a game more intimate and exciting for all who participate.”

The new facility will also serve as a venue for concerts and events, he said.

The 2016 Texas Athletics Master Plan identified several locations to replace the Erwin Center, and listed the site near the track stadium as the preferred site.

“In addition to serving the needs of our student-athletes, fan experience is a top priority for Texas Athletics,” said 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.”

The map of the proposed site does include relocating Red River Street to west of the new arena. The university said it is currently developing the project’s scope and determining costs.