EKU Announces Closure and Renovation Plans for Baptist Health Arena at Alumni Coliseum

Published on March 19, 2024

Eastern Kentucky University’s (EKU) Baptist Health Arena at Alumni Coliseum is officially closed to begin facility renovations. Alumni Coliseum is the longtime home to EKU men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, Big E Welcome, new student orientation, and other marquee university and community events.

Alumni Coliseum will temporarily reopen in January of 2025, as students, fans and alumni experience an exciting Atlantic Sun Conference (ASUN) basketball season and the 2025 spring graduation ceremonies. The state-of-the-art restoration is set to be finished by fall of 2025. 

“Baptist Health Arena at Alumni Coliseum serves as the main entry point of our campus and an economic driver for the local economy. This iconic building shapes first impressions of EKU with many events hosted in this space for the City of Richmond and our surrounding communities,” EKU President David McFaddin said. “Investing in this essential area, widely used by students and guests, is crucial. With its rich history, we’re thrilled to preserve its heritage while modernizing the infrastructure for the 21st century.”

The updated facility will aid EKU and the local community by providing an increased number of spaces to better accommodate hosting tournaments and special events like the Exceptional Eastern Experience (E3) events, commencement ceremonies, new student convocation, orientation, high school basketball tournaments and more. Additionally, students in several programs will have opportunities for hands-on learning experiences in areas such as hospitality, physical therapy, broadcasting and electronic media, and food and nutrition.  

“We’ve stated for a long time that our goal is to truly transform Baptist Health Arena at Alumni Coliseum to create a best-in-class experience for our fans, alumni, students and student-athletes who will benefit from this project,” said Matt Roan, EKU vice president and director of athletics. “I’m proud to see where we’re going with this project. With the major work now set to begin, I can’t wait to see the finished product. With any type of growth, there will undoubtedly be inconveniences. But we’re thankful for the support and understanding of our many stakeholders as we progress through this project.” 

With construction underway at Alumni Coliseum for the remainder of the year, the EKU volleyball team will play its 2024 home games inside the Rick Erdmann Olympic Sports Training Center on the Campus Beautiful this fall.

Notable features of the revitalized Alumni Coliseum will include: 

  • A 300-person concourse club

  • A conference area

  • A courtside club

  • Enhanced concessions

  • New restrooms

  • A fan shop

  • Updated audio and video capabilities

  • Expanded sports medicine spaces

  • Locker rooms 

  • Player meeting spaces 

Alumni Coliseum’s iconic wooden laminated cross-arched roof, spanning 309 feet, will remain. Features still in the design process will be announced once finalized. 

The full basketball schedules, including locations, will be released once finalized.