Fall 2018 can’t quite come soon enough for fans of Northwestern University basketball.
Construction is ongoing at Welsh-Ryan Arena, home of basketball, volleyball and wrestling for a $110 million complete overhaul of the arena.
“The new Welsh-Ryan Arena will be a dramatic transformation for our varsity sports programs that call it home and for the fans who devotedly support our student-athletes,” says Jim Phillips, vice president for athletics and recreation at Northwestern. “A central tenant of our commitment to providing a world-class experience for our Wildcats is a passionate home crowd. This complete overhaul of our most-used and versatile venue will create a state-of-the-art experience accessible to all Chicagoland sports fans while they support our student-athletes in competition.”
The new arena will see its existing wood bleachers make way for new seating. Wider, more accessible concourses include improve lighting, accessibility for the mobility-impaired, new restrooms to double the number of toilet fixtures and new concession areas with twice as many point-of-sale stations to increase efficiency.
The second-floor N-Club will grow by more than 400 percent as it also extends south onto Randy Walker Terrace at Ryan Field and offer use on football game days.
A new ticket office, locker rooms, basketball offices and a lobby expanding by nearly 50 percent round out the fresh space.
Welsh-Ryan Arena, inside McGaw Memorial Hall, opened in 1953 and was renovated in the early 1980s, but this will offer the first top-to-bottom renovation of the entire structure since its original construction.