New UNO arena gets go-ahead from regents

An initial artist’s rendering of what UNO’s new arena would look like when viewed from Aksarben Village.

OMAHA, Neb. – The University of Nebraska Board of Regents today authorized President J.B. Milliken to enter into a letter of intent with developers for the construction of an arena at the University of Nebraska Omaha.

“UNO is very excited about the Regents’ support,” Chancellor John Christensen said.  “It has been our goal to have a campus home for athletic events that also serves the entire university and the community.  This decision moves us closer to that dream.”

“We are very pleased that the Board of Regents has approved this first step in the process of building a new home for Maverick athletics,” said Trev Alberts, Director of Athletics.  “An on-campus arena will be transformative for our department.  By having an on-campus home for our hockey team as well as providing it with dedicated practice space, we will have the opportunity to further strengthen our marquee program as well as provide enhanced competition space for men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball.

“There are still many steps to making this arena a reality,” Alberts added, “but today’s news is a welcome beginning to a process that we believe will put our department on firm financial footing for years to come.”

The current proposal for a new arena provides for a privately constructed and financed facility which would eventually be acquired by UNO through a lease-purchase agreement.  The cost of the proposed arena is estimated to be $76.3 million with the building seating approximately 7,500 for hockey games.

The proposed site of the building is at 68th and Center Streets, just south of Aksarben Village and east of Papio Creek.

Nebraska Omaha announces plan for new campus arena

From the Omaha World Herald …University of Nebraska at Omaha sports programs are about to go big and go home: The university proposes to build a 7,500-seat arena at 67th and Center Streets, on the south end of UNO’s expanding campus.

The arena would focus first on hockey, the Mavericks’ marquee sport and the athletic department’s main profit center. It would fulfill the university’s longtime dream of on-campus home hockey ice, plus eventually be the home courts for UNO’s volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball teams.

Private donations or private partnerships would pay for arena construction costs. In interviews with The World-Herald last week, UNO Chancellor John Christensen and Athletic Director Trev Alberts ballparked the costs at $65 million to $80 million.

“We are not going to put this on the taxpayer,” Christensen said.

Planning and fundraising for the project are far enough along that Christensen and Alberts plan to propose the arena to the University of Nebraska Board of Regents at its Oct. 26 meeting.

For the rest of the article, which is part of a special section about all the facilities going up in Omaha, click here.