Fifth Third Arena Renovation Campaign Revealed
CINCINNATI – The University of Cincinnati department of athletics announced Tuesday a multi-million dollar fundraising campaign for the renovation of Fifth Third Arena, home to Bearcats men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball.
Proposed improvements to the 26-year old facility, built in 1989 and originally named the Myrl H. Shoemaker Center, include the creation of a 360-degree seating bowl, new restroom and concession facilities, a new upper-level concourse with its own fan amenities, expanded food and beverage options and a new main entrance and plaza with centralized ticketing and guest services. The renovated arena also will feature expanded premium seating options, including a courtside club, arena club, and concourse club as well as enclosed suites, loge seating, a new Bearcats Lounge and super suites.
Earlier Tuesday, the UC Board of Trustees approved an interim $2.2-million funding request to allow for completion of documents in the design development phase. This will allow the Populous/Moody Nolan design team to remain on its current schedule with an anticipated construction start in March 2016.
A total funding request for the anticipated $85-million, the privately-funded project will be submitted to the board for review and approval in the next 90 days.
Those interested in making a gift to the construction of the arena should contact the UCATS office at 513-556-0735.
“Today is an exciting day for the University of Cincinnati athletics and the #HottestCollegeinAmerica,” Director of Athletics Mike Bohn said. “We are a living in a time of seismic transformation at UC and we are proud to be at the epicenter. We have some work to do to build on a successful silent phase of fundraising which has carried us to this point. Moving forward, we will engage current donors, sponsors, fans and identify new groups who want to be a part of our dynamic efforts to build the Bearcats brand nationwide.”
One of the top-20 winningest programs in the nation, Cincinnati men’s basketball has won more than 1,700 games while claiming 28 conference titles, 10 league tournament crowns, and two national championships. The Bearcats were the 2014 American Athletic Conference regular-season champions and currently rank as one of only 11 programs in the nation to advance to the NCAA tournament each of the past five seasons.
In 26 seasons as home to Bearcats men’s basketball, Cincinnati has compiled a 353-76 record (.823 win percentage) inside Fifth Third Arena. Through the years, the facility has served as host to the 1994 Great Midwest Men’s and women’s Basketball Tournament, the 1998 Conference USA Men’s Basketball Tournament, the 1998 Conference USA Volleyball Tournament, the 1999 NCAA Mideast Women’s Basketball regional, the 2003 NCAA Women’s Basketball West Sub-Regional and the 2006 BIG EAST Volleyball Tournament.
Men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball home events will be conducted off campus during the 2016-17 season while construction is underway. No decisions have been made on playing sites for the 2016-17 season. Fifth Third Arena is scheduled to reopen in October 2017.