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Education New TCU basketball arena also a showroom for other sports

New TCU basketball arena also a showroom for other sports

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The newly renovated Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena at Texas Christian University will be primarily used for basketball, but tributes to the school’s other sports are found inside as well.

Trophy cases, jerseys, shoes and other memorabilia from all of TCU’s sports are on display in the stadium’s Hall of Fame, situated at the entrance to the facility. Former student athletes were among the donors to the facility, such as St. Louis Cardinals third baseman and 2009 TCU graduate Matt Carpenter, who paid for a glass case housing the Rose Bowl trophy.

“Here it’s all about being a Horned Frog,” senior associate athletics director Ross Bailey said. “We’re not trying to single anybody out.”

The Schollmaier Arena was dedicated Tuesday and its first event, TCU’s December graduation, will take place Saturday. Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams will play their first games in the stadium on Sunday.

Austin Commercial served as the contractor while HKS served as designer for the stadium. Both companies are based in Dallas.

Construction on the $72 million facility began March of last year. The project faced several delays due to rain and was not able to open in time for the basketball season opener. In the meantime, the men’s teams played in the Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center in Fort Worth, while the women’s teams played in the University Recreation Center.

In July, TCU announced that the building, formerly called Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, would be renamed the Schollmaier Arena after lead donors Ed and Rae Schollmaier.

The renovation added about 125,000 square feet to the existing facility. Among the added features are offices for the athletics staff, locker rooms and a sports medicine center. There is also a club room for donors that has a window to see into the pressroom for postgame interviews.

The arena itself features a new Panasonic video board along with smaller video boards on the sides near the stands. The stands were also lowered to be closer to the court for a more “intimate” experience, said Mark Cohen, director of athletics media relations.

Bailey said the renovation was necessary not only to upgrade the original stadium built in the early 1960s but also to bring athletic coaching staffs together in one place. The volleyball, beach volleyball, equestrian, track, golf and soccer staffs will office in the Schollmaier Arena.

“We had them scattered all over campus,” Bailey said. “There were times when we probably weren’t as efficient as we could have been. We really think it’s going to bring that synergy together.”

Bailey also said he hopes the new amenities will attract more fans to the basketball games.

“We think this will help reunite a lot of our basketball fans that may have gotten a little soft in coming to ball games because the arena didn’t offer some of the amenities,” he said.

The men’s basketball team is 5-4 following a win over Prairie View A&M. The women’s basketball team is 7-3 after a loss to No. 3 Notre Dame.

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