Complete Renovation Announced for Alumni Coliseum

Published on April 25, 2022

 Alumni Coliseum, the home of Eastern Kentucky University’s men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball teams, athletics administration, Bratzke Center, Exceptional Eastern Experience events, commencement exercises, new student convocation, orientation, All-A Classic, and more, will be transformed as a result of a complete facility renovation. It is anticipated construction will begin at the conclusion of the upcoming basketball season in March 2023 with completion slated for fall 2024.

The Commonwealth of Kentucky’s General Assembly appropriation will fund the more than $31 million project. Naming opportunities will be available in new and improved spaces inside the facility.

“We appreciate statewide legislative leaders who supported higher education at incredible levels this spring, including this investment in one of our key university assets in Alumni Coliseum,” said President David McFaddin. “Alumni Coliseum is a facility that benefits our entire student body, city, region, and beyond. Combined with the investment in a new Model Laboratory School, the front porch to The Campus Beautiful will be inviting and promote excellence.”

“The renovation of Alumni Coliseum is essential to enhancing the Eastern Experience for our students and introducing our campus to a broader audience,” said EKU Board of Regents Chairman Lewis Diaz. “Our board of regents, together with President McFaddin, have a collective vision to further elevate Eastern Kentucky University’s standing and this investment is another step in the physical renaissance of The Campus Beautiful.”

“This all-new Alumni Coliseum is a game-changer not just for the several teams that call it home and for the fans who come to support our student-athletes and coaches, but for our campus community at large,'' said Matt Roan, Vice President for Athletics and Campus Recreation. “This transformative project supports our commitment to providing a first-class experience for all stakeholder groups. I cannot wait to see the finished project packed with the Maroon Platoon and Colonel Nation and our teams enjoying a home-court advantage! We certainly appreciate all, both in Frankfort and institutionally,  who played a role in making it happen.” 

The renovated facility will include the following:

  • New seating, with chair-back seating throughout most of the arena

  • Hospitality and premium seating options, including suites and club spaces

  • Wider, more accessible aisles and concourses, as well as enhanced ADA seating

  • New and improved restrooms

  • New concessions areas

  • State-of-the-art lighting, audio, and video capabilities

  • A new ticket office

  • A new fan shop

  • New locker rooms, player lounges, meeting spaces and offices for men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball

  • New administrative offices

  • A renovated and expanded Bratzke Student-Athlete Academic Success Center

  • Expanded Sports Medicine facilities

  • Increased number of spaces to better accommodate hosting tournaments and special events

  • Advanced video production opportunities for students in broadcasting and electronic media

  • Improved education spaces to support exercise & sport science and health promotion & administration programs

  • Improved hospitality management opportunities for students interning with EKU Dining Services (Aramark)

  • Improved spaces to support EKU Conferencing and Events and the Richmond community

A new seating configuration will be finalized in the coming months and communicated to current season ticket holders. In order to be as efficient as possible from both cost and time standpoints, the athletics department is currently exploring alternate locations for games during the 2023-24 academic year.

Alumni Coliseum has been the home for EKU basketball since the 1963-64 season. The volleyball team has played in AC since 1991. The arena currently seats 6,500 fans for athletic endeavors and up to 8,000 for other events. While many upgrades will be made to the facility during the renovation, the iconic wooden ceiling featuring  wooden laminated cross-arches roof spanning 309 feet will remain. 

In addition to continual improvements to the spaces occupied by men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball, many by generous donors, other recent improvements include the installation of a new state-of-the-art Daktronics HD video board in 2013 and new floor and lighting in 2014.

While preliminary conceptual and programming exercises have occurred, the university has already undertaken to procure architecture and engineering services and invites those interested vendors to visit the university’s procurement webpage for information.