Kansas's Allen Fieldhouse to get extensive renovations
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Allen Fieldhouse is about to get a facelift.
The historic home of defending national champion Kansas will soon undergo a significant renovation to upgrade its fan amenities, hospitality spaces and premium seating options while retaining the feel of the original building.
Jayhawks athletic director Travis Goff said the multimillion dollar project, which will be funded by private donations, will included state-of-the-art videoboards, a new sound system and lighting, reimagined concourses on all three levels along with changes to the adjacent Wagnon Student Athletic Center.
“These renovations will enhance the gameday experience for Jayhawks, including our students, faculty, staff, alumni and donors,” Goff said, adding the improvements will drive “new student recruitment, alumni engagement and donor relations, all of which benefit the university and our broader academic mission.”
Affectionately nicknamed “The Phog,” Allen Fieldhouse was built along a stretch of Naismith Drive and opened on March 1, 1955, for a game against rival Kansas State. Since then, the iconic structure with its simple bowl seating and clerestory windows behind each of the baskets has consistently ranked among the top venues in college hoops.
It helps that the Jayhawks, who recently hung their sixth national title banner in its rafters, rarely lose there.
The arena has gone through plenty of facelifts through the years. The indoor track that once ran through the original concourse is long gone, and renovations in 2005 cleaned up the brick façade while creating the new Booth Family Hall of Athletics on the east side of the building. Another round of upgrades in 2009 widened concourses, improved the restrooms and resulting in new locker rooms, training rooms, film rooms and players lounges.
The announced renovations to Allen Fieldhouse come nearly five months to the day that Kansas announced long-awaited renovations to Memorial Stadium, the Anderson Family Football Complex and other football facilities.
The school spent years studying ways to renovate one of the archaic stadiums in college football. But it took a breakthrough season by coach Lance Leipold and a bowl appearance for Kansas to generate enough support to undertake the project.
Last week, the Jayhawks released renderings of upgraded locker rooms and weight rooms that will be ready for the upcoming season. The project could eventually cost more than $300 million with new convention and retail spaces along with multiuse facilities that create what Kansas Chancellor Douglas Girod has called “a primary campus entrance” for students and alumni.