The University Of Alabama Can’t Find Enough Money To Build A Campus Basketball Arena

Inflation has pushed up the cost of construction by at least 30 percent.

The University of Alabama’s men’s basketball, women’s basketball and gymnastic teams were supposed to be getting a new on-campus building this spring. But the shovel to start construction has not yet been put into the ground and the reason the building is on hold is inflation. The cost of construction has skyrocketed and that has University of Alabama sports officials scrambling to find a solution meaning come up with more money for the project. The university in February 2022 approved a plan to build a new 10,000-seat arena on campus with an estimated cost at the time of $183 million. The building may cost $240 million or so to complete, if the shovel gets into the ground. The University of Alabama’s men’s and women’s basketball teams have two home venues. The Birmingham arena that seats more than 17,000 people which underwent a renovation that was completed two years ago and the on-campus facility. That on-campus facility is 54-years-old and the original plan in 2018 was to renovate the building.

University of Alabama Athletics Director Greg Byrne said that the university had not expected inflation to rise to 40-year highs. And because the university’s football team is so successful and brings in boatloads of money, Byrne thinks the perception is that the school has the money for the proposed venue. It doesn’t. “I know sometimes people will say, ‘Hey, you’ve got the money, I’m like, ‘Well, I haven’t quite found that money.'” he said. “We have a fiduciary responsibility for our athletic department, that’s part of what we do, and at the same time, too, we’ve got to do everything we can to make sure we grow the program and put us in the best possible position.” Byrne added the university is working on getting the problem solved but getting a shovel in the ground isn’t happening right now.

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