Robins Center to get major renovation - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Robins Center to get major renovation

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Get ready Spiders fans: improvements are coming to the Robins Center. It will undergo a major renovation over the next five years in order to enhance the game day experience.

So far the school is devoting $15 million to the revamp. While there have been some improvements over the years, the home of the Spiders basketball teams hasn't had a major renovation since it opened back in 1972.

When fans come to watch the guys on the hardwood, you'd probably rather them say something other than this about your arena: "It probably could use some updating," said Patrick Busch.

It seems the University of Richmond's athletic department and board of trustees agrees. The board approved $15 million to start renovations on the Robins Center. 

"This is exciting," said Deputy Athletic Director David Walsh. "It's an exciting day. We're very excited to roll up our sleeves and get to work."

He gave us an inside look at some of the ideas on the table.

"We want our fans, when they come to our games, to have a great time, to have a great experience," Walsh explained. "We want it to be very fan friendly."

That includes possibilities of cushier seats and club seating. While it is only a few years old, the Spiders are looking into updating the floor where teams battle to make it to the tournaments.

Fans could also see video boards in the center and around the arena, as well as updated lighting to make the game day experience more like theater.

Phase one will last five years and could also include improvements to the concourses and concession stands. Some fans think this could put more bodies in the seats, which would be a slam dunk for ticket sales.

"It definitely seems to draw the fans out when you have a new, updated, modern stadium," Busch claimed.

While the original center was built with a donation, these improvements will be funded by the school. Walsh said that proves the university's commitment to athletics. 

Next, the department will meet to solidify a game plan before construction begins.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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