The University of Houston plays in a very competitive conference. According to Coach Kelvin Sampson, UH basketball has been in a competitive disadvantage for a long time, because of facilities. He says the proposed $60 million renovation of Hofheinz Pavilion will help in recruiting wars.
“I’m not talking about at 38, 50-year-old adult. I’m not recruiting them. I’m recruiting that 17, 18-year-old young man and he needs to know that it’s going to be exciting, it’s going to be where somebody’s — when he walks on to that court he looks around — is proud of where he’s playing. And that’s what we’re going to build, and they’re going to do it right.”
Renovation plans call for the court level to be raised three feet, with fan seating moved closer to the court. More than 2,000 premium seats will be developed, and there’ll be upgrades to the sound system and video board. Seating will be reduced by about 1,000 from the current configuration, but that’s okay with Vice President for Athletics Hunter Yurachek.
“The premium areas will counter-balance that off,” says Yurachek. “I’m all about let’s create more demand than we have supply.”
“What do you think tipped the regents to do this?” asked Ed Mayberry.
“I think this has been talked about for several years,”Yurachek says. “I think what tipped it in our favor was the anonymous $20 million gift, first and foremost, to funding of that.”
UH regents have approved the start of the design process for the renovation starting in March, with construction starting a year later. The renovated facility is expected to be ready for the beginning of the 2018-19 season.