UA McKale Center renovations underway - Tucson News Now

UA McKale Center renovations underway

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

After a winning basketball season that took them all the way to the Elite 8, the Arizona Wildcats are in for a big change involving their home.

For more than 40 years, McKale Center has been the place packed with Wildcats cheering on their team. Now, McKale is filled with sounds of renovation as construction just got started Monday at McKale Center, which will include new seats.

University of Arizona Athletics Director, Greg Byrne, is excited about the improvements happening on campus.

"The inner bowl here will look completely different," Byrne said Monday."We'll have a new floor. Our floor here is about 16-17 years old and it should be replaced about every dozen years."

Additionally, new concession stands and restrooms are part of the $30 million dollar project, partially funded by private donations.

Byrne said the renovation will also help attract the best talent.

"They're going to get to come in and see a sparkling new interior to McKale and that's going to send a great message on how we want to compete in all the sports that we have," according to Byrne.

University of Arizona Freshman, Chris Roper, is looking forward to seeing all the changes.

"Improvements are always welcome. Let's go big or go home," Roper said Monday.

University of Arizona Student, John Brown, said he will likely be pleased with the new McKale Center after seeing the changes made for the football team recently.

"We saw what the football stadium looked like after it was done," Brown said Monday. "Words can't really describe how cool it will be after this is done."

Byrne said people have been asking to buy the seats workers are currently taking out of McKale. He said they are recycling them rather than selling them to save time on construction and help out the environment.

The renovated McKale Center is scheduled to be ready for practice and games by Fall 2014.

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