Northwestern Athletics announced a complete renovation of Welsh-Ryan arena Monday morning to begin in March 2017, following the conclusion of Northwestern Men’s and Women’s Basketball’s seasons.
According to the press release, the renovations will include new seating, a wider, more accessible concourse and new restrooms and concessions areas.
Below is a full list of the expected renovations:
- New seating throughout the arena, with chair-back seats replacing existing wood bleachers
- Wider, more accessible concourses with improved lighting to alleviate congestion
- Improved accessibility for the mobility-impaired, with five new elevators replacing the existing one
- New restrooms, doubling the number of toilet fixtures as well as the addition of accessible family restrooms
- New concession areas with twice as many point-of-sale stations to increase efficiency, along with new food and drink offerings
- State-of-the-art lighting, audio and video capabilities in the arena
- Premium seating areas and expansion of the N-Club, which provides space for pre- and post-game events, by more than 400 percent. The club, which is located on the second floor, will be extended south onto Randy Walker Terrace at Ryan Field and provide expanded hospitality opportunities on football gamedays.
- Expansion of the building lobby by nearly 50 percent
- A new ticket office
- New locker rooms for men’s basketball, women’s basketball and volleyball
- New offices for men’s and women’s basketball
- Expansion of usable court space in both the main arena and fieldhouse.
The project is expected to be completed in the Fall of 2018.
With a full year in-between the start date and the projects completion, Northwestern Volleyball, Men’s and Women’s Basketball and Wrestling will all have to find new locations to practice and play. According to the release, the athletic department is in the process of finding these alternate locations.
Private donations and the existing athletics maintenance and equipment budget will fund the $110 million project.