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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona athletics enhances game day with stadium renovations

Madeleine Viceconte
The new Cole and JeanineDavis indoor sports center was unveiled on Sunday, Feb. 24. The center cost $16.5 million and is 220 feet by 340 feet long. 1991-94, 2012-14: Dave Heeke, the Director of Athletics, gives a tour of the new Cole and Jeanine Davis Sports center that was unveiled on Sunday, Feb. 24. The center cost $16.5 million and is 220 feet by 340 feet long.

University of Arizona sports facilities underwent a number of renovations last year, including upgrades to Arizona Stadium, Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium, and Hillenbrand Aquatic Center, as well as the recently added Cole and Jeannie Davis Sports Center. The enhanced structures will surely appeal to players and fans alike, and improve the experience and atmosphere at sporting events. 

Arizona Stadium’s ZonaZoo student section was revamped with a new entrance and patio seating sections, as well as improved bowl seating. The ZonaZoo section is able to accommodate nearly 8,000 students.

A further addition to improve the game-day environment were new concession stands included on the East side of the stadium, with the sale of beer and wine going into effect at the start of Arizona football’s 2018 season.

Construction included adding another retail store and improving the mobility of fans on game-day by connecting the North and South ends of the east side of the stadium for easier access. As for the student-athletes themselves, a recruiting lounge was constructed to help better the UA recruitment process. 

The Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium underwent a complete renovation and was ready for play at the start of the 2019 softball season. The renovation hosted redone seating, including a new premium club seating section, as well as a transformed entryway, shade structure, concession areas, restrooms, bullpens and dugouts. Down the third baseline on the upper level of the stadium is the Alumni Plaza, that serves to honor Arizona softball alumnae.

RELATED: Newly renovated Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium set to open Feb. 14

According to Head Coach Mike Candrea, the new stadium is “like a little miniature Yankee Stadium, that’s how nice it is.”

Hillenbrand Aquatic Center went through a facility overhaul that included making room for four additional 25-yard lanes, upping the number from 18 to 22. The 50-meter Kasser Family Pool was expanded to 65 meters and the entire pump and plumbing system was renewed. New shade structures for fans and athletes were also built. 

On top of these expansions, the Cole and Jeannie Davis Sports Center was officially unveiled on Feb. 24 and was designed to serve as an indoor practice facility for Arizona football and an indoor conditioning center for other Arizona sports programs. The structure accounts for approximately 74,000 square feet indoors and 26,000 square feet outdoors. For fans, the Cole and Jeannie Davis Sports Center will be available on football game days as part of a premium tailgating experience. 

While the renovations to these Arizona sports facilities have already opened and made their debut, there is no doubt that the amenities they offer and the improved conditions they provide will continue to set a high level of athletic success for all in the upcoming 2019-2020 school year. 

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