Dayton Flyers announce $72mn UD Arena renovations



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Dayton Flyers

University of Dayton Arena will undergo a $72 million renovation ahead of its 50th anniversary in 2019, the largest project in UD’s 167-year history and one officials said will cement the venue as the epicenter of college basketball.

Every one of the arena’s guests – and those watching season and championship games on television – will see a change in their experience with the replacement of all 13,450 seats, installation of air conditioning and new WiFi, a sweeping 360-degree main concourse around the bowl and dramatic seating section and broadcast booth changes.

“If someone hadn’t been here in 10 years, but came here after this is over, they’re going to actually think that they tore the arena down and built a new one,” said local real estate mogul Larry Connor, a major investor in the privately-funded project. “That’s how unbelievable this project is going to be.”

Implemented in three phases until fall 2019, the transformation of the Dayton Flyers’ arena will not impact in-season or championship basketball, officials said. Many pre-construction preparations are already underway behind-the-scenes and heavy work – and an aggressive fundraising effort – will begin in about three weeks.

The cost of renovations will be far higher than revealed in public city of Dayton documents earlier this week, which cited a $12.5 million project. That was based on construction permits filed by the university to date.

UD officials cast the massive undertaking as a necessary investment in the future of the school, the Dayton region and the Atlantic 10 conference. Yet, they emphasized a desire to keep the “soul” of the arena intact.

“Obviously, the arena’s transformation will strengthen our visibility on a national level for our basketball programs,” said President Eric Spina, who over the weekend led graduation exercises at the venue. “This arena is much more than the site of championship basketball. It’s a very special place where we send our graduates out into the world.”

“It’s also is a sacred liturgical space,” he said. “At least twice a year we celebrate Catholic Mass for students and their families when they first arrive at the University of Dayton and when they graduate, at baccalaureate Mass the day before commencement.”

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