The University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio, has announced a $72 million renovation of its basketball arena.

The improvements to the 50-year-old University of Dayton Arena will be carried out in three phases from 2017 to 2019.

The project will be privately funded through philanthropy, corporate sponsorships, external private and business partnerships, ticket revenue and general university support. Gifts from lead donors are enabling the construction to begin now while fundraising continues.

"This is not just a renovation; it's a transformational project," says University of Dayton Vice President and Director of Athletics Neil Sullivan. "UD Arena will turn 50 years old in 2019. For it to serve the community and as the home for Flyers basketball—as well as NCAA Tournament games—for the next several decades, it requires a bold, significant upgrade."

The university says the renovation will enhance fan and student-athlete experiences and dramatically improve the infrastructure while maintaining the current seating capacity, which is 13,400.

In addition to university men's and women's basketball games, high school tournament games and the NCAA First Four, the arena is used for competitions, entertainment events, large-scale educational seminars and as a staging area for community projects.  

The facility is the first University of Dayton building students see as they exit Interstate 75 to come to campus for the first time. And it's the building in which they receive their diplomas when they graduate.

"UD Arena is special to the University community for far more than just basketball," says Dayton President Eric F. Spina. "The transformed arena will enhance those special events that mark important milestones in our students' lives."  

Construction will cause some disruption at the arena, but officials say it will not interrupt the basketball season, and all home games will be played in the facility.

Sullivan says the university put together the renovation plan after surveying fans, season-ticket holders and donors, and talking with people in the community and on campus, as well as industry leaders and experts.

The architects on the project are Hastings & Chivetta Architects Inc. and Sink Combs Dethlefs, and the contractor is Danis.

View a YouTube video from the University of Dayton: