TCU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Chris Del Conte announced this week that weather conditions and unforeseen circumstances have caused delays in the opening of the new basketball arena.
“We have now chosen Dec. 20 as the opening date for our new basketball home,” Del Conte said in a media release Tuesday.
Sophomore Katina Burke said the delay of the opening shouldn’t have any effect on the season, but she said “it’s a bummer” the renovations won’t be ready in time.
Burke added that having the games so close to where students live should make it easier for students to attend the games.
“Now that games are so close, there’s not really a reason for people not to be able to go,” Burke said.
First-year student Mackinley Bullock said she thinks attendance will be high for the first couple of games.
“I know I plan on going,” Bullock said. “I think people want to go see the renovations and how they’ve turned out.”
Head basketball coach Trent Johnson said the team is excited to move into the arena, which underwent a $72 million renovation.
“Ed Schollmaier and Rae Schollmaier have done an excellent job,” Johnson said in his press conference at the Big 12 Conference basketball media day. “Putting us in an environment this year that we’ll compete at a high level. It’s been a long time coming.”
Bullock said the new arena will give the team a “fresh start.”
“They are going to be really excited to play in their new arena,” Bullock said. “I feel like that will make them play well.”
Johnson said it’s about the capability of beating the good teams and the good people, not about where they play their games.
“You can have all the facilities in the world,” Johnson said. “But you’ve got to compete at a high level and win games.”
The Nov. 13th season opener against Southeastern Louisiana will be played in the University Recreation Center. All other games, until the opening of the new arena, will be played at the Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center in Fort Worth, which hosted all TCU home games last season.