The University of Cincinnati is preparing to debut the newly renovated Fifth Third Arena, as men’s basketball will host an exhibition game on Thursday.
Fifth Third Arena had been undergoing an $87 million renovation that began in March 2017. As part of the renovation, Fifth Third Arena received new premium seating, along with two 360-degree concourses, upgraded video displays, new hospitality areas, improved team facilities, and more.
Cincinnati Bearcats men’s basketball spent the 2017-18 season at Northern Kentucky University’s BB&T Arena to accommodate construction, but is now preparing to return to its newly renovated home. For fans, Thursday night’s exhibition game against Division II Tusculum will be the first chance to see the renovated Fifth Third Arena, but members of the men’s basketball program are already lauding the improvements. More from the Cincinnati Enquirer:
Justin Jenifer got his first look at newly renovated Fifth Third Arena on Wednesday. The University of Cincinnati senior point guard and his teammates naturally are eager to take the floor when the Bearcats reopen the arena Thursday (7 p.m.) with an exhibition game against Division II team Tusculum.
For now, Bearcats coaches and players have caught only quick glimpses inside the arena, which underwent $87 million in renovations over the past 19 months. The players worked out Wednesday in their usual spot, the practice gym at the Lindner Center adjacent to Fifth Third Arena.
“I just went into Fifth Third today,” Jenifer said before Wednesday’s practice. “It looks amazing. It came along really well. I’m too excited to play (Thursday).”
The regular-season opener for men’s basketball will take place on November 7 with a game against Ohio State. The renovations will also be a boost to women’s basketball and volleyball, two programs that played most home games at St. Ursula Academy in East Walnut Hills while construction unfolded at Fifth Third Arena.
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