Rhodes Arena Upgrade Plans

The University of Akron may not wait for the Ohio city to construct a new downtown arena before deciding whether to give its on-campus  a $38 million facelift.

Photo: facebook.com/AkronZips
in Akron, Ohio. 

The move seems prudent, considering Akron voters recently rejected a tax proposal to fund a downtown facility.

The university’s basketball and volleyball teams play in the 5,500-seat Rhodes Arena, which was built in 1983 and is considered antiquated for the needs of a NCAA Div. 1 program, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.

A study commissioned by UA in 2012 reported that restrooms, concessions, sight lines, seating and VIP accommodations were “inadequate” for a major college facility, according to the paper.

University President Scott Scarborough told the Beacon Journal the arena needs the upgrade regardless of what the city may build. He awaits an internal design proposal.

The 2012 study reportedly recommended adding “a two-story glass-walled lobby, new chair-back seating to replace the majority of the bleachers, new concourses, restrooms and concession area, and creating a dedicated student section.”