The WVU Coliseum is one of the oldest basketball facilities in the Big 12 Conference.
The Mountaineers have created a lot of memories in the facility, which opened in 1970. In 2016, the beloved arena is getting a much-needed facelift.
On Thursday, it was announced that the WVU Coliseum will receive $15 million in renovations.
From a release and Gazette-Mail, The project’s first phase will more than double the number of restrooms and widen the concourse, while a second phase will add additional arena seating for disabled people. The first phase, construction on which begins this month, includes constructing more concession stands and adding more food and drink options. New additions will be the Mountaineer Cafe, which will offer sitting space to take people out of the concourse; the Wild & Wonderful Canteen, offering West Virginia favorites like pepperoni rolls and slaw dogs; and the Country Roads Pit Stop, which will have regular hours for the public — namely those who park and work at or otherwise occupy and visit the Coliseum.
The whole project is part of an effort to modernize the WVU Coliseum. With these expanded options, there will be more space for restrooms and concession stands.
Also, like the updates to Milan Puskar Stadium three two ago, the WVU Coliseum will look much brighter and more exciting.
The current lay out of the WVU Coliseum makes it difficult for student seating. Most college basketball arenas provide student seating on a sideline and/or behind the baskets on the baseline. At West Virginia, student only get baseline seating.
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There was a time when the Mountaineer Maniacs received seats from the bottom of the baseline up to the top of the arena. In 2009, the university eliminated some student seating, which has dampened the atmosphere in the Coliseum since then.
This new project doesn’t look to address the students’ situation. However, it is a step in the right direction to improve the atmosphere and enhance the fans’ experience.
It will take a good two years before all the upgrades are complete. In the meantime, here is a list of fellow Big 12 basketball arenas and the years they opened.
Frank Erwin Center (Texas): 1977
United Supermarkets Arena (Texas Tech): 1999
Lloyd Noble Center (Oklahoma): 1975
Gallagher-Iba Arena (Oklahoma State): 1938
Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena (TCU): 2015
Ferrell Center (Baylor): 1988
Hilton Coliseum (Iowa State): 1971
Allen Fieldhouse (Kansas): 1955
Bramlage Coliseum (Kansas State): 1988
The WVU Coliseum remains one of the oldest in the conference. Only Oklahoma State and Kansas have older facilities.