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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A picture tour of the new Auburn Arena

We were fortunate enough to get a quick tour of the still-generically named Auburn Arena this afternoon. Auburn is expected to officially move in to its new digs in late July. The arena cost $92.5 million. The capacity still isn't finalized, but it should be somewhere around 9,000.

I took some pictures and some video, which I hope turns out OK. We'll start with a picture tour.

An outside shot of the Auburn Arena from the southeast side. From this angle, Jordan-Hare Stadium is just off camera to the right.

The scholarship/media entrance has a giant eagle on the window outside.

Inside, there are already plenty of murals. You can't see it here, but on the next staircase up, there are giant pictures of Nell Fortner and Tony Barbee.

This is probably of little interest to the general public, but we media types love it. Here's a game clock that counts down how much time before tip-off/the end of halftime there is. It's a handy little device that Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum didn't have.

It might look plain right now, but this is where the dais in the media room will be set up for post-game press conferences.

A look at the players lounge inside the home locker rooms. Keep this in mind for later when you see the visitors locker rooms.

The arena has many motivational slogans on its walls. This is still in the players lounge. That's Rasheem Barrett lifting weights on the left and Lucas Hargove on the right.

There's no question who's locker room this is.

Gigantic whirlpools in the training room.

Another look at the home locker rooms. Each locker is made of wood, has cushy seats and plenty of space around it.

This is the courtside club, a posh area where people who purchase the pricey seats can hang out before the game, at halftime and after.

One of the suite areas connected to the courtside club. They look out to the East side of the stadium. You can't see Jordan-Hare Stadium in the background.

Now we get to the arena floor. The small size of the arena stands out once you enter. It's not a big place. I can only imagine it feels smaller once it's packed with people.

The student seating is along three sides of the court. This is one of the baselines. Student seats are bleachers, although I imagine people will be standing for most of the time.

Here's what courtside seats look like on the bottom level. Fancy.

Here's a shot of one at one of the baselines. The student seating is the blue portion on the bottom. As you can see, there's a separation from the rest of the seating behind it. And the divider allows enough height to be added to the next section that the students can stand and not block the sightlines of the fans behind them.

A view from the media seats. It's kind of got an NBA Live '95 vibe to it.

These are the scholarship club seats, above the courtside seats. They are plastic.

This is the scholarship club. It's open to anyone with seats in the scholarship area, which is the mid-level seating on the East side of the arena. Looking to the right through the big windows, you have a great view of Jordan-Hare Stadium.

A view from the top edge of the scholarship seating.

The aforementioned view of Jordan-Hare.

This is artistic as I get, folks.

There is not much room between the seats. Looks kind of crammed.

Two beat hacks give a sample scenario. If you want to get by, everyone's going to have to stand up.

This is how many people you can have in the Scholarship Club. How many times were there less than 957 actual people at Beard-Eaves?

This is just inside the main entrance of the arena.

Fans will have a chance to learn a little bit about Auburn sports history in the museum section of the arena.

A view from the top level.

There is not much space from the top level to the rafters. Auburn will get maximum noise out of this place if it gets loud.

A view along the rail on the top level. Not a bad place to keep up with the action if you want to lean and get something to eat.

A nod to Beard-Eaves' past. That's Elvis, Tina Turner, Ted Kennedy, Muhammad Ali, Elton John, Jimmy Buffett and Bo Jackson.

The top level is steep. Good thing they've installed some railings.

Not the greatest seat in the house. Even Bob Uecker wouldn't like sitting here. (Word from the Auburn SID is that these seats will not be sold for basketball but were left there in case more seats were needed for events like graduation.)

A concession stand on the lower level.

The visitors locker room. Not as fancy as the home ones, huh? At least Auburn didn't paint it pink as a psychological ploy.

The still-unfinished weight room.

The weight room floor looks sharp, though.

The adjoining practice courts. They are connected to the weight room.

We're all in trouble if this place is on fire.

The basketball offices. Not a lot in there yet, so they look pretty drab. I'm sure that will change.

Nell Fortner's office. It has a view of Jordan-Hare Stadium. I'm wondering how her chorkie Chip will handle the hardwood floors.

The meeting room in the men's basketball offices. As you can see, they overlook the practice courts.

A better view from the meeting room.

And lastly, an outside shot of the entrance we came first came in.



Unknown said...

Nice looking place. I think that small will work well. Bigger isn't better if the place isn't packed. I do like the style of the place.

WDEwg said...

I missed out on the tour during A-Day, but after this- I feel like I got the full tour, plus some.

Are there tons of obstructed view seats, or just that one area? That's kind of weird to build something these days with any obstruction.

Andy Bitter said...

That was the only one I noticed. In fact, the view from every seat was really good. You don't feel very far from the court, even in the upper deck.

Scott M. Brannan said...

nice pics AB. especially enjoyed the one of JGT outside rocking his Under Armour polo. :)

seriously, i am surprised they would make the rows so close. wouldn't they want it a little more confortable for folks?