The University of Houston has announced a $20 million pledge in support of a $60 million renovation of the university's basketball arena.
The gift from entrepreneur Tilman J. Fertitta, who chairs the university's board of regents, will support the remaking of the arena into a state-of-the-art collegiate sports facility. Construction is scheduled to begin after the 2016-17 season and be completed in time for the 2018-19 season. The renovated facility will feature a premium club area and courtside club, mid-court seating areas closer to the action, and floor-level student seating opposite the team benches.
In November of 2015, UH announced a $20 million pledge toward the renovation project, but it would not confirm that Fertitta's gift was the same gift.
To recognize the legacy of Harris County Judge Roy Hofheinz, whose name has graced the arena since it opened in 1969, the area outside the arena will be reconfigured and named Hofheinz Plaza.
"Thanks to the generous support of chairman Tilman Fertitta and his family, and also for the support of the Hofheinz family not just for our university but for the city as well, our men's and women's basketball programs will soon compete in the Fertitta Center, a facility that will be second to none," said Hunter Yurachek, the university's vice president for athletics. "Behind the leadership of Tilman, [UH president Renu] Khator, and our board of regents, this is an exciting time to be a part of UH Athletics, and we will continue to strive for excellence, academically, athletically, and as leaders in our community, in all our sport programs."