College Park To Debut

Officials at the University of Texas at Arlington are hoping the upcoming opening of a $78 million arena will help change the university’s reputation as a commuter school.

The 7,000-seat College Park Center will house the school’s basketball teams and host concerts and other events. The venue will feature a 2,800-square-foot hospitality suite that can be broken into three sections, broadcast and video production capabilities, a digital signage system, wireless internet and full concessions and catering services.

The arena is the capstone of the 20-acre, $160 million College Park District, a mixed-use development with student apartments, retail space and restaurants.

School president James Spaniolo told the local Star-Telegram the venue and the district surrounding it represent UT Arlington’s new direction.

“To some people it has taken a long time to get over that long-held perception that UT Arlington was a good academic school, but mostly a commuter school and not a location where much was happening,” Spaniolo said. “To me, College Park represents an exclamation point of ‘Yes! We can.’”

College Park Center, which opens Feb. 1, has Drake on the books for its debut concert.