Omaha Arena Costs Mounting

Construction costs and design changes are upping the price tag more than $11 million for the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s new arena.

The 7,500-seat venue, which is now projected to cost nearly $88 million, will house concerts as well as the university’s hockey, basketball and volleyball events.

A revised split-bowl design and an additional $6.3 million in infrastructure improvements have inflated original estimates of $65 million to $80 million for construction, the Omaha World-Herald reported.

The new design allows for closure of the top bowl during small events, the paper said, and will include student, club and suite seating.

A University of Nebraska spokeswoman said the school plans to ask its Board of Regents to issue up to $73 million in bonds to cover the construction of the facility, noting “the initial costs were based on a concept, not a literal design. Now we have one.

“When we were writing the program statement, it would have been impossible to know how much cash-flow financing we would need until the design was final, the budget set and the timing of all cash flows with regard to the project were known,” she told the World-Herald.

Additional costs will be covered by bonds, private donations and university funds, she added.