A UAB Bartow Arena makeover? UA Board of Trustees takes steps to explore its options

UAB Community Band playing July 4th concert in 2017 (Pat Byington/Bham Now)

The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees voted at its June 9 meeting to explore renovations to UAB’s 35+ year old Bartow Arena.

“Bartow Arena has been center stage for UAB Athletics since it was built in 1988, and it has served our teams and fans incredibly well,” Ingram said. “As we move into the American Athletic Conference, we must look at our new peers and ask ourselves how we compare to them in every way. We want to make an unforgettable impression on everyone who enters the building and preserve the legacy of Bartow Arena for years to come.”

Potential $20 Million Makeover

Located in the heart of the UAB campus, the facility has a seating capacity of 8500+ and hosts a wide variety events including:

  • UAB Men’s and Women basketball games
  • UAB Volleyball
  • University commencement ceremonies
  • Local high school graduations 
  • Other special events

Pending sufficient philanthropic support and additional approvals by the Board, the proposed project will potentially cost $20 million. Here are possible improvements according to a UAB statement:

  • Construction of a new main entrance, with a modern design that dramatically upgrades the visual appeal of Bartow Arena
  • Expansion of premium seating and hospitality options to rival American Athletic Conference peer competitor venues
  • New scoreboard and ribbon board
  • Home for the UAB Athletics Hall of Fame on the concourse

First Class Gameday Experience

“One of my goals in the continued growth of our storied program is to provide our supporters a first-class gameday experience, which requires key updates to Bartow Arena,” said UAB Men’s Basketball coach Andy Kennedy, whose 2022-23 team set a school record for wins. 

“Bartow has provided our program and our fans many incredible moments. Now imagine those same magical moments in an enhanced venue, where you truly can’t wait to be back for the next game.”

Stay Tuned

With UAB’s entrance into the American Athletic Conference this year, fans can look forward to additional upgrades to the Blazers athletic program. Watch this space for further updates from Bham Now.

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Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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