University looks to replace Erwin Center

Frank Erwin Center
Frank Erwin Center

AUSTIN (KXAN) – The athletics director at the University of Texas is looking to replace the aging Erwin Center, home of the Texas Longhorn basketball teams. But who is going to pay the price to make it happen?

Athletics Director Steve Patterson thinks it should be a joint venture between the university and the public if a new arena is going to be used in the same multi-purpose way that the Erwin Center has been since 1977.

Patterson said that if there is a new arena, its likely to be six to 10 years away and estimates it will cost about $500 million.

The Erwin Center is the home of the men’s and women’s Texas basketball program, but those dates account for a small fraction of events it holds throughout the year.

The Erwin Center’s days were originally numbered when construction for Dell Medical School was announced. “Implementation of Phase I of the plan would not require removal of the Erwin Center, but a long-term proposal calls for the relocation of the venue in six to 15 years,” according to UT.

A better experience

Another one of Patterson’s top priorities is enhancing the game day experience at all venues, including Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Patterson says that an improved Wi-Fi system along with upgraded video and audio quality are in the future plans, but they are reviewing the entire game day experience.

Texas is working with the Disney Institute, a consulting arm of Disney that works on game day experience for fans.

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