The University of Texas at Austin is seeking proposals from potential qualified developers to build and operate a new basketball arena and training facility.
The university says in a news release that a public-private partnership between Texas and an outside entity would be groundbreaking in college athletics and enable the university to build a basketball venue that also can host concerts and other events.
“We have a unique opportunity to develop a world-class arena and training center for the men’s and women’s basketball teams that will help us recruit and support elite student-athletes, improve the fan experience and host games just a short walk away for our student fans,” said University President Gregory L. Fenves.
The university’s Request for Qualifications and Proposal seeks private entities that have developed basketball arenas elsewhere and are qualified for the scope of the project in Austin.
The existing basketball arena, the 40-year-old Frank Erwin Center, will be replaced during the next few years to accommodate the expansion of the Dell Medical School. Last year, Fenves announced that Texas is committed to building a new arena on campus, where it will be more accessible to students and employees.
The new arena will be smaller and more intimate than the Erwin Center, and will be designed with concourses that enhance the fan experience.
The Request for Qualifications and Proposal seeks a partner that has developed and operated best-in-class, multipurpose basketball arenas and training facilities costing between $350 million and $450 million, at a minimum; has worked with other universities; and has the financial capability to contribute all or a substantial portion of the cost to develop, build and operate the new arena.
Potential partners must submit their materials by Thursday, March 8. Those who meet qualifications will be invited to submit proposals.