LU to build new 125,000-square-foot arena next to the Vines Center

(Liberty University)

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) - Liberty University is building a new 125,000-square-foot arena.

The new arena will provide additional space for sporting events, concerts, and other events that don't require venue as big as the Vines Center.

The Liberty Arena will be between DeMoss Hall and the Vines Center.

Ritchie McKay is the Men's Basketball coach at Liberty University. "I think it's phenomenal, I think we have a chance to establish ourselves in terms of fan experience especially a student experience amongst one of the best in the region," said McKay.

Construction is expected to start this fall, and is expected to be finished in time for the first basketball game in 2020.

The Liberty Arena will seat up to 4,000, and will have bleacher, club, and loge seating options.

It will be able to seat up to 4,500 with floor seating.

Dan Deter is the Vice president of major construction at LU says this new arena has been part of the master plan for a couple of years.

"This allows us to keep sports set up during their fall heavy seasons, and the convocation so we just don't have to keep setting the arenas back up," said Deter.

LU says men's and women's basketball games, as well as women's volleyball games.

“Liberty Arena will provide our teams with an intimate environment and tremendous home court advantage,” said Ian McCaw, Liberty’s director of athletics. "Flames fans will enjoy the arena’s modern amenities, including premium seating and hospitality areas.”

Trey Falwell, Liberty's Vice President of University Operations, says the primary need for the facility to eliminate spending countless man-hours and resources setting up and teating down the stage and floor seating to accommodate both Conovocation and sports events.

“This arena will allow us to leave the Convocation stage in place for much longer periods of time since sports events will not need the Vines Center, except on special occasions,” he said. “Another benefit is that basketball and volleyball will have a more exciting atmosphere in the new arena. Crowds that size will be more engaged because of the closer proximity to the event and to each other.”

The exterior of the Vines Center will be updated during the project, too.

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