Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Fieldhouse closed for construction


The doors of Allen Fieldhouse slammed shut on April 4, just a few hours after Kansas University’s women’s basketball loss to South Florida in the finals of the WNIT.

They won’t swing open again until sometime in September, once renovations are completed.

“The fieldhouse is closed,” KU associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said Tuesday. “It is a construction zone right now.”

Summertime camps of basketball coaches Bill Self and Bonnie Henrickson will be held in various gyms across town, just like last weekend’s Jayhawk Invitational AAU tournament.

“Ideally we’d have loved to have them (AAU athletes) play in Allen Fieldhouse as it’s one of the great facilities in the country,” Marchiony said.

“I think people — having seen the first round of the renovations in 2004 — appreciate the concept of making Allen Fieldhouse as good as it can be. People are excited to find out what it will look like because the first round (of improvements) went so well.

“The painting of the bleachers, the chairbacks, the new windows, videoboard and floor (and cleaning of the exterior) ... people saw how great that turned out and are excited.”

Future KU basketball player Royce Woolridge, who played AAU games at Haskell and Lawrence High last weekend as a member of the Arizona Magic, will play in the renovated fieldhouse during the 2010-11 season.

“I was looking forward to playing in the fieldhouse (last weekend). (But) it is what it is,” Woolridge said. “They are improving it.”

The latest upgrades to the fieldhouse are part of a $38 million package of work that also includes Parrott Athletic Center, Wagnon Student Athlete Center, Horejsi Center as well as a new basketball practice facility going up adjacent to the fieldhouse. The practice facility will also open in September.

“Most of the work is on the first-floor concourse,” Marchiony said of the fieldhouse.

He said KU is ...

• Expanding and renovating the men’s and women’s basketball locker rooms and upgrading the locker rooms for the visiting teams and officials.

• Expanding the Booth Family Hall of Athletics.

• Turning the old track office into a media work room and press conference room.

• Renovating food service operations and concessions stands.

• Improving the merchandise stands.

• Providing more storage room for maintenance operations and basketball operations.

• Upgrading the restrooms.

• Creating donor lounges. Marchiony said, “donors will be able to use them before games, at halftime and after the games.”

The donor lounges are currently being constructed on the west side of Allen, between Parrott Athletic Center and Allen.

Marchiony said private donations have been raised to pay for the renovations.

“We are raising money to do more. We’d like to do some more work, but can’t until we raise the money,” Marchiony said, not yet outlining future improvement plans for the fieldhouse.

KU’s athletic department also is raising money to create a $24.6 million Olympic Village in the area south of Anschutz Pavilion. The concept includes a 400-meter track with grandstand seating, new practice and competition soccer fields with grandstand seating and new grandstand seating for the softball field.

Past Allen Fieldhouse improvements included seating expansions in 1986 and 1994. In 1999, concession stands and restrooms were improved and an elevator was installed in the south end. Handicapped seating was moved courtside behind both baskets in 2001.


Mike Blur 11 years, 4 months ago

Donor lounges = open bar for bluebloods to get liquored up and rattle their jewelry before, during and after games.

KUBlue0809 11 years, 4 months ago

And what is wrong with that Mr_Blur? Alumni pay for, fund, support, and attend KU's games. I'm just a mere student at KU and realize how important alumni support (and pampering) is. Great Job and congrats to Jim Marchiony and Big Lew Perkins on an incredible job!

UjayK 11 years, 4 months ago

I agree with KUBlue0809. Alumni support is one of the keys to the success of KU sports. Alumni bring back attention, $, and most importantly, tradition and family-like togetherness, which undoubtedly Lew Perkins, as smart as he is, will cherish.

woodhawk 11 years, 4 months ago

Now if only we could get our wealthy alumni to donate so readily to keep much needed faculty on campus.

Rick Arnoldy 11 years, 4 months ago

"KU’s athletic department also is raising money to create a $24.6 million Olympic Village in the area south of Anschutz Pavilion. The concept includes a 400-meter track with grandstand seating, ..."

Is this the first step to finally getting rid of the awful track in Memorial and lowering the football field to bring fans closer to the game?

kranny 11 years, 4 months ago

I agree ohioburg, and I think the Kansas Relays would be enhanced also.

d_prowess 11 years, 4 months ago

I think the name donor lounge is probably inaccurate. Everyone that has season tickets has to be a donor to buy them (only $100 though), but I am assuming the giving level will be much, much more than that to qualify to enter.
And I am just stating a fact; I have zero problem with them doing this and actually think there is already a "donor lounge" somewhere next to the fieldhouse. This is probably just an upgrade.

Sf Boggsz 11 years, 4 months ago

On the Mavericks/Nuggets broadcast last night the announcers mentioned Carmelo Anthony had given Syracuse University over $3million dollars for athletic department improvements. With some of the NBA contracts signed by KU players such as Paul Pierce, Raef Lafrentz, I wonder if they could be resources for future donations. Especially if there is a shortfall which potentially may be the case in the current basketball improvements.

KU currently has 11 players in the NBA and I wonder what their attitudes are in gift giving back to their alma maters?

esteshawk 11 years, 4 months ago

blur would probably like the private lounges if they also had a Replay Lounge for the rest of us, with $1 cans of PBR.

Daniel Cummings 11 years, 4 months ago

It's the "death valley" of the sports year...I'm about a Top 10 list of the most humiliating moments in the storied history of Mizzou basketball...I'll nominate two entries for the list.... Entry #1 "Them cracka's be shakin'...the Ricky Clemons Story Entry #2 The Mighty Quin doing his best Survivor karaoke impression crooning "Eye of the Tiger" to his beleaguered troops in yet another one-and-done NCAA tourney "run".

I defer to my Jayhawk brethren for entries 3-10....

11 years, 4 months ago

Entry # 3 ~

It would be tough to top the fun and frivolity surrounding their recently new Paige Sports Arena :^)

jaybate 11 years, 4 months ago

jaybate news service:

Subterranean sources indicate...

} Donor Lounges will have lap dancing tables designed by famed French designer Phillipe Starck. Universities taking a 20% cut of Lap dancing tips is rumored to be the next wave in athletic fund raising.

} Matt Kleinmann has been awarded a contract to do the new bathrooms. Big Red is reputedly rocking the design world with men's rooms that will have what he calls post-up urinals. The winningest player in KU history also plans mirrored basketball-backboard-and-rim lavatories called dunk-and-washes, plus toilets with MU painted inside the bowls. Women's rooms will have all the usual fixtures plus cutting edge, h2o-efficient crimson and blue bidets and a world first for basketball arenas--high speed, digital make-up applicators that will eliminate all crowding in women's restrooms.

} Construction is experiencing a temporary slow down, while university officials and a cultural anthropology professor examine unearthed remains of what may be authentic film footage of Linda Lovelace playing a game of horse in Allen Field House with Ted Owens, Sam Miranda, and Rick Suttle. The 8mm footage, if authentic, is believed to have been shot the day of the Linda Lovelace for President parade down Jayhawk Boulevard in 1976. Owens, Miranda and Suttle were all unavailable for comment.

} Food service and concession stands will be redesigned to enable serving of exotic dishes like Medallions of Tiger Steak, Rocky Mountain Oysters a la CU, Barne's Fresh Longhorn Loin, Milk Braised WildKitty, Cyclone Salad, Sooner Sweetbreads, and Baylor Bear Shanks.

And on the Memphis front...

} In the latest slight to Memphis basketball, the top five prep recruits of 2010-2011 were asked if they had Memphis on their list of schools being considered and all of the five replied they had never even heard of Memphis.

} The History Channel will be in Memphis next week to begin filming an installment about the decline and fall of basketball programs.

} Memphis University will reputedly be the first D1 school to ask to be reclassified a Division II school.



RockChalkGuy 11 years, 4 months ago

jaybate: You should be paid for your entertaining contributions to this site.

RockChalkGuy 11 years, 4 months ago

Seriously....Barne's Fresh Longhorn Loin....that's classic. I'm not sure that I'd be interested in chomping down on that tube-steak, though.

Jfanallways 11 years, 4 months ago

i love how much self is doing to make us even more competitive in recruiting and basketball overall. . . . assuming these are the upgrades self demanded when restructuring his contract.

Scott Perlmutter 11 years, 4 months ago

Does this mean that the booth family hall of athletics will be closed too? My parents are coming up for graduation next weekend and I would like to show them the greatness of Kansas and Allen Fieldhouse. Last time my dad came to Lawrence, KU was doing the original renovations in 2005 or something and he could not get in. My mom has never even been to the state of Kansas before and I would like to show them both the Fieldhouse, I really hope that they would open it up for graduation weekend so that those of us graduating can show family the fieldhouse.

kunomu 11 years, 4 months ago

The Booth Hall is closed until September.

The football field won't be lowered anytime soon because there is a problem with the ground underneath the football field. It would cost way too much money to lower the field.

Rick Arnoldy 11 years, 4 months ago

4 Mizzou moment – Stipo shooting himself in the foot. Literally. Then claiming he was shot during a break-in.

Tony Bandle 11 years, 4 months ago

5 That little UCLA guard, Tyus Edney, slipping through the entire Mizzou basketball team, the Marching Mizzou Band and every Walmart employee in the state of Missouri in about 1.5 seconds to score the basket that kept Normy from getting to his beloved Final Four!!!

I send Tyus a Christmas card every year out of sheer gratitude!!!!

Daniel Cummings 11 years, 4 months ago

I knew my Jayhawk brethren would come up with very worthy entries into this Mizzou Hall of Shame...we're up to 5 very worthy entries...keep 'em coming, We've got 5 more to go and I know there have to be some good ones out there.

Not really an entry to this discussion but does anyone else recall the game at AFH when Donnie Von Moore literally fought a Mizzou player (was it Al Eberhard?) all the way off the court and onto what was then the running track behind the lower section bleachers?!?!? If there was ever a doubt about the intensity of the rivalry, that scene erased all questions.

Hawklin 11 years, 4 months ago

Amateur hour. KU has shown what the idea behind the improvements is for over a year.

Future plans.

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