Wednesday, August 12 2009
The University of Evansville today announced its support of the new Downtown arena project.
UE issued the following news release today:
After reviewing the data collected and recommendation advanced by the Roberts Stadium Advisory Board, officials at UE – whose Purple Aces men’s and women’s basketball teams have played home games at Roberts Stadium for decades – determined that the new stadium provides the best direction for both for UE, and for the city of Evansville.
“We believe a new arena will have a very positive impact on recruiting and on the fan experience for Purple Aces basketball, allowing people to make Downtown the destination for a game,” said UE President Stephen Jennings. “The plans for this new arena paint the picture of a beautiful, state-of-the-art facility that will create an exciting experience for Aces fans; and with the new hotel and additional development, we believe there will be numerous options for our fans both before and after games.”
University officials also have explored the parking situation – an issue that some Purple Aces supporters have cited as a concern – and are satisfied with the city’s assurance that parking will be sufficient.
“Based on the plans we have seen and the assurances we have received from the city,” Jennings said, “our fans will be able to park nearly as close to this new facility as they can to the current Roberts Stadium.”
John Stanley, UE’s director of athletics, currently is working with the city on that and other issues surrounding the new arena, helping to ensure that the facility provides a positive experience for Aces fans by serving as part of the Evansville Arena Advisory Board.
The University has had preliminary discussions with the city regarding the cost of leasing the new arena for Purple Aces games. It is important that we be able to play in the new arena without significant additional cost to our program. Because the capital cost of the project is covered through various existing revenue streams, the lease will only need to cover the overall operating costs for the arena. While exact costs cannot be determined until the design is complete, we have been assured that the cost structure will be similar to our current agreement with Roberts Stadium.