SLU Arena Gets Go-Ahead

The Saint Louis University Board of Trustees approved construction of an $80 million on-campus arena May 6th.

Global Spectrum had already been hired as facility operator. It is expected to be completed March 2008.

The Jesuit college has a popular basketball program, and the 10,600-seat arena will reportedly be the second largest in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

The university first announced plans for an arena in 2003, but the13,000-capacity project was hindered by fund-raising setbacks, including Hurricane Katrina, which caused several would-be benefactors to redirect their donations to help hurricane victims.

“Particularly after Hurricane Katrina hit, the cost of building materials started going up,” arena project manager Jeff Fowler said.

Fowler and the university revisited the original plan in December to keep the costs manageable.

The arena is reportedly expecting to host about 90 events each year.