Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Crisler Arena expected to undergo major renovations

A $20 million renovation of Crisler Arena will come before the Board of Regents for consideration Thursday. If approved by the board, it will be Bill Martin’s last major facility improvement as athletic director.

“Renovating Crisler Arena is an integral part of our basketball program’s future success, on and off the court,” says Martin, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. “We really haven’t done any infrastructure work in the arena since its construction 40-plus years ago, and this will be a major step forward in improving our basketball facilities.”

Renovations to Crisler Arena, which opened in 1967, would be completed over time using a phased approach.

The first phase would address the highest priority infrastructure needs such as repair of the roof, electrical, plumbing and air handling systems. Lower bowl seats also would be replaced, with the expansion of seating for people with disabilities, the addition of handrails and other code-related issues.

As proposed, the design work for the renovation by TMP Architecture, assisted by Sink Combs Dethlefs, would begin in 2011. Those firms designed the new $23.2 million Basketball Player Development Center, which is scheduled to be completed in 2011. The design of the Player Development Center has been coordinated with the future Crisler Arena improvements in mind.

Funding for the renovations would be provided through Athletic Department resources.

Since becoming athletic director in 2000, Martin has spearheaded the expansion and renovation of much of the university’s athletic facilities. He has overseen the most significant construction on South Campus since Fielding Yost completed Michigan Stadium, Yost Fieldhouse, and the Intramural Building in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

Key projects have included renovating Michigan Stadium and constructing a new indoor football practice facility. Under Martin’s leadership, U-M also has built a new wrestling practice facility, is completing a new soccer stadium, and constructed the Ross Academic Center and the Junge Family Champions Center. U-M also renovated the Hartwig administration building/ticket office and the Wilpon baseball/softball complex.

During the last decade, improvements to Crisler Arena have included renovations to the men’s and women’s locker rooms, new lighting and sound systems, installation of courtside seating, and updates to the strength and conditioning areas.