The University of Houston’s board of regents has approved an estimated $60 million renovation for Hofheinz Pavilion. From the schools’ official release:
Regents approved a project budget of up to $60 million with an anonymous donor pledging a $20 million gift to facilitate the arena’s renovation.
Design work is scheduled to begin in March 2016 with construction starting one year later. Plans for the Cougars’ home facility during the 2017-18 season have not been finalized and will be announced at a later date. The renovated facility is expected to be ready for game competition for the beginning of the 2018-19 season.
“This project has been long overdue, and we are grateful that Dr. Khator and our Board of Regents saw the need for this step with our basketball arena,” Vice President for Athletics Hunter Yurachek said. “We look forward to starting the design process in the next few months and creating a facility that will provide the highest level of amenities to our fans and a significant home-court advantage for our Men’s and Women’s Basketball student-athletes.”
Preliminary estimated capacity for the renovated arena will be reduced to 7,420 from its current seating bowl of 8,479. However, initial plans call for the court level to be raised three feet with fan seating moved closer to the court as part of an emphasis to improve the overall fan experience.
More than 2,000 premium seats will be developed to give fans the ultimate luxury seating options. That total includes a preliminary design of 1,750 club seats, 20 loge boxes with four seats in each, two open-air suites with 32 seats per unit and 90 courtside seats.
The arena’s concourse level will be expanded to improve circulation with significant upgrades to the sound system, video board and arena seating.