Conceptual plans for a new University of Alabama arena were unveiled yesterday by athletic director Greg Byrne, with the school envisioning a 10,136-seat, $183-million facility to replace Coleman Coliseum.
At present the arena is in the beginning of the planning stages, per a presented by Bryne to a university system Board of Trustees committee; there’s no site yet finalized (though trustees were told that the preferred site is at Campus Drive and Peter Bryce Boulevard, with three other sites under consideration), and construction is not likely to begin until April 2023. The emphasis is on student seating: bleacher seating for students would wrap around three corners of the court.
The arena would serve as home not only to the men’s and women’s basketball teams, but also to the women’s gymnastics teams. A vertical design would keep even the upper levels close to the action, with 60 percent of the seats in the lower bowl. The aforementioned student seating would retract to allow a full floor for gymnastics events, as shown below.
When the arena planning started, the original plan was to renovate Coleman Coliseum, but after cost estimates for that came in at around $150 million, the decision was made to focus on a new arena.