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Del Conte: "Investment in basketball" is needed at university

TCU athletic director said Big 12 is main drive to renovate Daniel-Meyer Coliseum

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TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte speaks with media about renovations to Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. (TCU 360 video still/Tori Cummings)

TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte speaks with media about renovations to Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. (TCU 360 video still/Tori Cummings)

TCU Athletic Director Chris Del Conte stressed the importance of competing in the Big 12 and a need to "invest in basketball" as main factors in renovating the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

In a press conference held on the floor of the arena, Conte said the construction will begin when all funds for the facility have been raised. He said he hopes that the improvements made will demonstrate to potential recruits a commitment to a successful basketball program.

Del Conte said an “investment in basketball” was needed, both in recruitment and fundraising, if the university wants to find success with winning and tournament appearances. A stagnant program that played in an antiquated stadium was not going to do that, he said.

“If we want to be successful in the Big 12, we have to have facilities that are going to guarantee [consideration from] the very best student-athletes that are looking at Kansas, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma or Texas,” Del Conte said. “We want to be in that same conversation.”

As previously reported, TCU formally announced on Wednesday that plans have been approved on a $45 million renovation to Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

The proposed plan, which has been discussed since the conclusion of Amon G. Carter Stadium’s $164 million renovation in 2012, includes wider concourses, renovated locker rooms, new training facilities, and the addition of a courtside club.

Del Conte said that a timetable was set for this November to raise the $35 million necessary to move forward with renovations, after a lead commitment $10 million was made by Ed and Rae Schollmaier. The family was responsible for the Schollmaier Complex in 2004, when they donated $5 million to its construction.

Although plans have been submitted for renovation, details are still being worked out. Because the renovation plans are in their initial stages, Del Conte said while the basketball teams will be played at Daniel-Meyer for the 2013-2014 season, there are no plans as to where teams will play beyond that.

Blueprints for the exterior of the coliseum, which show the elimination of the front parking lot, are also not finalized.

“That’s all just artist renderings,” Del Conte said. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. People are just sending me things to look at. As far as a physical plan, we’re nowhere near that.”

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