Designed by architectural firms Ellerbe-Becket and PellhamPhillips, the arena will feature more than 11,000 seats, a grandentrance, 22 private suites, more than 100 loge seats, 55 courtsideseats, a Hall of Fame, a team souvenir store, a ticket office and a4,500-sf club. Construction management firm J.E. Dunn is also amember of the project team.

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University officials say they had to pare down their original"wish list" for the arena to come up with an affordable design forthe facility. Estimates based on the initial plans for the arenawere more than $75 million. "We worked very hard to get the cost aslow as possible," Michael T. Nietzel, university president, says ina statement. "We reduced our wish list and went through a rigorousprocess to get the project cost down to a level we couldafford."

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The scaled-back design now includes one concourse instead oftwo, and the number of seats has been reduced to 11,000 from12,000. However, up to 1,500 seats can be added in the future.There also is shell space for home locker rooms, offices and atraining room that can be added later.

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