Thursday, October 11, 2007

Allen Fieldhouse set for another facelift



KU athletic department officials recently announced plans to renovate Allen Fieldhouse for the second time since 2005.

Late Night in the Phog

¢ Friday night marks the official beginning of the 2007-2008 Kansas University basketball season as KU opens the Allen Fieldhouse doors for another edition of Late Night in the Phog.

¢ Admission is free. Doors open at 6 p.m. and will be closed when the arena reaches its capacity.

¢ The Jayhawk men's and women's teams will entertain the crowd with a variety of skits and scrimmages until 9:30 p.m.

Allen Fieldhouse, which was spruced up prior to the 2005-06 basketball season, will undergo another facelift next spring.

At least that's the plan if Kansas University's athletic department can raise $15 million targeted for building improvements.

"This is a labor of love," KU associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said of continually bettering the hoops palace that opened in 1955.

"This is part of what you do when you have a great building with a lot of character. It's what you do if you want to preserve the history of the building like we do. People were very pleased with the upgrades the last go-round. And we believe they'll be pleased again," Marchiony added.

KU has sent a request to the Board of Regents for approval of the project - approval which should be granted Wednesday. The project will be funded totally by dollars raised by the athletic department.

On tap are improvements and expansion of the men's and women's basketball locker rooms, existing rest rooms not improved in previous projects, reorganization of the concession stands and the addition of new floor coverings, wall finishes and ceilings/lightings on the concourses.

The project also will include mechanical and electrical improvements as well as adding more space for fire and medical staffs and additional space for the media relations department.

Construction will begin as soon as the 2007-08 season is complete.

"Changing the aura of Allen Fieldhouse is not part of the discussion," Marchiony said. "These are major improvements, improvements we feel are necessary."

The last facelift, which cost $10 million, included new paint on the seats, a new floor, a new videoboard and brighter lights above the court.

Marchiony said, contrary to rumor, there was no talk of adding suites or additional seats to Allen Fieldhouse.

"That is not in the discussion," he said.


"Because everyone likes Allen Fieldhouse the way it is," he stated.

There's a new roof on the building for the coming season. The Federal Emergency Management Agency paid for 75 percent of the $1,125,500 project and the state, which allocates funds for the repair of state buildings, paid for the rest.

FEMA and the state became involved because the roof was damaged in the microburst of March, 2006.

Marchiony said KU officials are meeting to discuss how to allocate the space that will be cleared when the football team moves its offices and locker room to a new complex at Memorial Stadium.

¢ Replica jerseys: KU's men's basketball players will be wearing 1988 replica jerseys for the KU-Colorado game on Feb. 16 at Allen Fieldhouse. That's the weekend KU will hold a 110 Years of Jayhawk Basketball celebration, with special emphasis on the '88 squad, which won the NCAA title 20 years ago.

"We'll get them as close as we can to what the team wore in '88," Marchiony said. "We think retro uniforms will only add to the excitement of the weekend."

KU will put the uniforms on sale prior to the game so fans, if they wish, can also wear them to the game.

¢ Top backcourt: Luke Winn of Sports Illustrated has ranked KU's backcourt (Mario Chalmers, Brandon Rush, Russell Robinson, Sherron Collins) the best in the country. Memphis is No. 2, followed by Marquette, Washington State, North Carolina, UCLA, Tennessee, Louisville, Texas, USC, Oregon, Michigan State, Villanova, Butler and Davidson.

¢ Late Night is coming: KU sophomore forward Darrell Arthur says he is looking forward to Friday's Late Night in the Phog. Doors open at 6 p.m. for Late Night, which will run from 6:45 p.m. to about 9:30.

"It's going to be wonderful, seeing all the fans there," said Arthur, who on Tuesday was named preseason All-Big 12. "The stands will be packed. I'm going to love it."

Arthur attended Late Night during his freshman and senior years at Dallas' South Oak Cliff High.

"It was good. I loved it. It impressed me. I think it would impress any (recruit)," he said.

"It definitely helped me make up my mind," said KU senior Jeremy Case, who attended Late Night as a McAlester High senior. "I came here my senior year. Seeing the stands full and the excitement makes you want to come to KU."

"It's a great time to bring in recruits," noted senior Russell Robinson. "There's a lot of stuff going on. You can show a recruit a lot of attention, that basketball is the big thing around here. You can feel that vibe if you come to Late Night."

Twins Marcus and Markieff Morris, 6-7, 215 pounds, and 6-8, 226-pound forwards from Pennsauken (N.J) APEX Academies, will attend Late Night as part of their official recruiting visit. They are considering KU, Villanova and St. John's.


JNgohawks 11 years, 5 months ago

will they were the "short" shorts from the 88 team as well

Kevin Millikan 11 years, 5 months ago

I love that bird! Make it the same size as the court!!

John Strayer 11 years, 5 months ago

Whaaaaa!!! The Jayhawk is too big! Whaaaa!!!

Get over it.

tis4tim 11 years, 5 months ago

Renovations last time would have only cost $5 million, but all the paint they used to make a court-sized Jayhawk doubled the cost.

I know this probably won't be a popular opinion, but I think the Jayhawk at center court and logos in general should be smaller. They are too freaking big. I like courts that are mostly natural hardwood with painted lanes and that's about it. Most floors are too busy and it's distracting to be honest.

KEITHMILES05 11 years, 5 months ago

"will they were the "short" shorts from the 88 team as well"

Not to be bad about things but is it "wear" and not "were."

Carry on.

Bradley Vogel 11 years, 5 months ago

Speling iz overatid.

I'd love to see the short shorts, too, but I'm guessing it won't be that retro . . .

kufan1975 11 years, 5 months ago

late night will be great for the twins to see and be at...also come on people sell out the baylor game....i am sure they will also be at the game....that can only help the cause of getting them to sign....the upcoming season is going to be exciting to watch....has Q already visited...ok i am out ....go hawks on saturday....don't overlook the bears

JNgohawks 11 years, 5 months ago

thank you KEITHMILES, speellingg never was one of my strong points, I like the big Jayhawk as well

JNgohawks 11 years, 5 months ago

Furthermore KEITHMILES, "Not to be bad about things but is it "wear" and not "were."", if you are asking a question you need to end sentence with a question mark. If you were helping to correct my bad spelling, then you would write "it is". If they are going to dress the women in pink, maybe they should break out the short shorts.

jhawks 11 years, 5 months ago

I love the BIG Jayhawk. Where else can you possibly hear, "...From the beak for three..."?

jman18562 11 years, 5 months ago

I'm not sure which team was the fist to sport their massive mascot at half court, but I know KU was one of the very first. Now everyone is copying... especially my favorite purple pussy copycat friends to the West.

That assembly of purple shape segments they call a "Powercat" is the most hideous uncreative mascot I have ever seen. In this case... tis4tim is right! "Too freaking big."

Chris Shaw 11 years, 5 months ago

Interesting take by Seth Davis about Brandon Rush and the Hawks. I usually always agree with Seth Davis and in this instance I agree with him again. I think it could be a problem. Seth Davis always has good articles.

741hawk 11 years, 5 months ago

I can't believe another $15 mil on the Field House. It's fine. Tear out the TRACK! Lower the field at Memorial Stadium. Put the students and fans close to action where they belong! Create a real home-field advantage. The engineering studies have been done that show seven rows can be added. No other Big 12 team has a track inside their stadium!

In fact, none of the great college venues have a track to separate the fans from the action the Big House, the Horseshoe, the Swamp, Florida State, 'Bama, LSU, Notre Dame, etc. etc. The list is long. KU is on a very short list of schools that seat their fans away from the action.

Hey, Lew. After you tear out the track, demolish the horseshoe and build stands across the back of the end zone. Create a real atmosphere.

dirkleisure 11 years, 5 months ago

I hope when they are doing the work on the concourse, restrooms, and concessions they do their best to make Allen a "green" facility.

All upgrades to state-owned facilities should be required to meet the maximum energy efficiency standards.

bmkjayhawk 11 years, 5 months ago

As far as getting a "big bucket" in a clutch situation, I don't have a lot of time to think of this right now but the only one I come up with for Brandon Rush is against SIU. He has taken games over and contributed mightily in close games, but that's the only clutch bucket I can think of.

Well, Florida, too, I guess. He was set up for those buckets whereas he created against SIU.

Any others?

bmcmich1 11 years, 5 months ago

The plan to get rid of the track has been in the works since Frederick was AD, and for the life of me I don't know why it hasn't been done yet. I completely agree with you 741hawk, it needs to go. BAD.

And on the throwback jerseys, I think it's an awesome idea, but I think there is NO way that the jerseys will be EXACTLY like they were in '88. The design will be the same, but the tops and shorts will most likely be fashioned in the XXXXXXXL style that is popular today. The guys look like they are wearing trash bags out there! I really wish they would wear the tight jersey tops and shorts that are actually shorts. That would be a TRUE throwback representation, and it would probably make my year. Maybe we could even get B Rush to wear his hair in the awesome Milt Newton flat top 'fro that was popular back then. Oh god, that would be great!!

hometownhawk 11 years, 5 months ago

Why would we tear out the track (sarcasm)?! Then we couldn't host world-class athletes like Marion Jones at the KU Relays. I say we use the space left vacant by the old fb practice fields and put a track with some bleachers there. Then we can lower the field and still have a track.

tis4tim 11 years, 5 months ago


Though I appreciate your dissent to my opinion, we could at least try to keep the discussion somewhat sophisticated.

My comment about the paint was somewhat tongue-in-beak. For the record, I like the jayhawk...a lot. I just think it could be proportionately smaller.

The Jayhawk is the most unique mascot in all of sports (besides maybe the Banana Slugs of Santa Cruz , the Fighting Okra of Delta State and the Grays Harbor College Chokers.) I understand the visibility issue for television and it's certainly better than the state of Kansas with the star representing Lawrence that we used to have.

I just prefer a simpler floor design.

Michael Leiker 11 years, 5 months ago

BMK - Iowa State last year was a clutch 3.

bykcin 11 years, 5 months ago

I agree the track has to go. I think only Duke and us are the only BCS schools with a track around the field (could be wrong on that; if you know of more, please mention it). I really don't want to be mentioned in the same breath as Duke football

741hawk 11 years, 5 months ago

Yes. The perfect place for the "new track" is the soon-to-be abandoned fb practice fields. (Note: Not only is Lew not taking out the track, he has announced spending money on a new surface (along with new field turf). what a waste (a new track surface, that is).

Going to LSU next weekend. The aerial photo shows their track OUTSIDE their stadium. They don't create their storied atmosphere with a track inside.

Okay, what few other BCS schools have tracks inside?

11 years, 5 months ago

That was one good thing Terry Allen championed while he was here, tearing out the track and lowering the field. Could not agree more with you guys.

KFoz 11 years, 5 months ago

Since our beloved Jayhawk is a "brand", the oversized painting on the floor is perfect. Especially for TV; it gets emphasized over a hundred times back in forth during a game. Leave it alone so every recruit is hypnotized after watching a game or film.

I have heard the reason the track stays is the cost of removing it and the reconfiguring of the seats will not justify any revenue it could generate. I have wanted to get rid of the track forever, but I think that got filed away a long time ago.

bmcmich1 11 years, 5 months ago

I think you're right KFoz, and I think the whole thing is complete B.S.!!!!

What a freakin' copout, "durrr...cost doesn't justify the revenue, durrr" That's total CRAP!!!! Almost EVERY. OTHER. BCS. SCHOOL. figured out how to make it work financially, WE CAN AND SHOULD, TOO.

All this money spent on new football-only facilities and we still have an effing High School-esqe track around our field. It's a JOKE.

As you can probably tell, this is one of the issues that ticks me off more than anything. Guess we'll just have to hope the idea of removing that eyesore hasn't truly been 'filed' away forever.

William James 11 years, 5 months ago

Keeping the track dosent make us different from everyone else. It makes us the same as DUKE FOOTBALL and Washington. Did you hear what I said-DUKE FOOTBALL. We are not Kansas High. This is so embarrassing.
Im in college, but I would donate a hundred dollars on the spot to make a new track somewhere else if Lew started a fund. If someone has his email address please write him and ask him to do whatever it takes. We raised 15 mil for AFH, how much would we need to raise to lose the track? WHATEVER IT TAKES

11 years, 5 months ago

bmcmich, don't sugarcoat it. Tell us what you really think :)

bykcin 11 years, 5 months ago

i looked it up: duke and washington are the only other bcs schools with a track

Brady Swenson 11 years, 5 months ago

I hope some of you students show the Morris twins a lot of love on Friday night... the big Jersey banner thing has always been a big hit.

bmcmich1 11 years, 5 months ago

Sorry Tx! Sometimes I let myself get carried away...

11 years, 5 months ago

Not a problem at all, bmcmich! We could use more fans as passionate as you.

JayCeph 11 years, 5 months ago

If we can't remove the track, come up with a way to promote 'standing room only' seating. Allow for large masses of the student body or anyone else who wants to get that close to the action and have them wash into the surrounding track, obscuring it. Kind of like the pit areas in front of stages at concerts... no seats but lots of people. Just a thought.

bmkjayhawk 11 years, 5 months ago

Good point leikness. Had that shot not gone down my day would have been ruined.

I am just so happy to be able to watch him play another (almost full) season. Hopefully many more "highlights" to come.

e93bigd 11 years, 5 months ago

Great idea jhwkfan1625, in fact lets invite Skeeter Henry, Stacey King, Dave Sieger, Harvey Grant and the whole mess of OU players just so they could witness another beating. I remember watching them on the bench when they won in AFH that year and they were so cocky. Winning the title over them couldn't have been more gratifying.

Maybe Danny would wear his old uniform just to give them more nightmares.

derekleeinkc 11 years, 5 months ago

I think I must be the only person who likes the track. The Kansas Relays in Memorial Stadium is a huge tradition. So we're different than the rest, so be it, we ARE the UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS! We have a storied track & field program and we shouldn't sweep it under the 'turf'.

rockchalkjayhawk4ku11 11 years, 5 months ago

um this is a basketball page, not a track page

Driver08 11 years, 5 months ago

I hope for $15.0M we at least get a decent A/C system for the Fieldhouse. It is unbearably warm in there some games.

CaliforniaJhk 11 years, 5 months ago

Dereklee got it right. The KU Relays is a big thing and has lots of politics and money and prestiege. The football team is going to have to have several winning seasons and bowl games along with sell-outs before they have the muscle to push the track out of the stadium. I've been praying for the football program to step up for years so it becomes a bookend to match our basketball program, but unless a trainload of money drops out of the sky to build a track complex...we will have to live with it.

jtodd7 11 years, 5 months ago

Why would we want to close in the stadium? we have the MOST B-E-A-UTIFUL campus in the country. why hide that? and if we got rid of the track where would the Traditional Kansas Relays be held? not that im against the track being gone

Commenting has been disabled for this item.