ATHENS – Georgia has unveiled drawings for planned renovations that it hopes will change the “energy” at Stegeman Coliseum.
The plans include the long-awaited center-hung scoreboard, new seats that will all be black, a new sound system, and lighting to improve the atmosphere.
The improvements were approved last year, at a cost of just over $6 million, and are the second phase of a renovation project. The first phase was before this past season, at a cost of just under $2 million, included the large mural on one side of the arena.
Stegeman Coliseum opened in 1966. This is the latest renovation to the facility, which had air conditioning put in for the 1996 Olympics, when it was used for volleyball and rhythmic gymnastics, and in 2011 had the exterior of the building changed.
“And so the next step in a two-phase project was to take care of the interior as a next step,” athletics director Greg McGarity said. “By doing that I think we’re able to accomplish a total retrofit of a facility that has served us well. Everybody knows that when you have a full house and fans enganged in the game it’s a venue that has a lot of character. And now will have a new energy to the building due to these enhancements.”
Stegeman is used for both of Georgia’s basketball teams, as well as gymnastics and commencement ceremonies. Official capacity is 10,523.
The new sound system, which will be re-distributed to be heard better around the stands. The current system is centered at the scoreboard. The lighting system will include LED lights similar to those used in NBA areanas.
As for the black seats, they looked at red seats or a mix of the two. But they settled on all-black after looking at other facilities that went all black, such as Tennessee and two NBA facilities.