Stephen C. O’Connell Center Renovation
By: Sebastian Valdes-Denis
Update on O’Connell Center reconstruction
The Stephen C. O’Connell Center was set to undergo construction in March 2015 and end around December of that same year but the whole project was delayed a year due to money and contract disputes between the school and the architects. The renovation finally began again in March after the Gators men basketball team took a tough loss in the third round of the NIT tournament against George Washington.
The construction will end somewhere around early January just in time for the Gators men’s first SEC home basketball game, in the mean time the men’s and women’s basketball team will need to play in Jacksonville, Orlando, and Miami. The other teams that occupy the O’Connell Center, the volleyball and swimming and diving teams, will stay on campus for the first part of their seasons. What the Gymnastics team will do, is going to be determined later on.
How Exactech got involved?
During this whole renovation the O’Dome has taken a secondary name with a local company by the name of Exactech that produce tools for surgeons that help operate surgeries such as bone restoration. The new name of the arena is the Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
The O’Connell Center announced the official name through their official twitter account that when the O’Dome reopens it will have a new name. Exactech’s naming rights deal is a 10 year, $5.9 million agreement, with an additional five year, $3.5 million option on the back end.
New seating chart in the arena
The construction to this facility that so many teams and fans call home will include a lot of changes for example its new seating arrangement. Ticket holders will not be in control of their previous number of seats they have held. There will be an appointment and when it is your turn, you can select any seat that is available and you will only be responsible for the per seat contribution which is mandatory.
There are no limits in the 100 and 200 sections. However, there still are limits in the lower level such as section one through twenty-nine which are limited to the current number of season tickets you have but no orders can exceed four club seats or eight total lower level seats. The Gators will launch a website that will give ticket holders the opportunity to become familiar with the new design of the arena. The seat selection process will began on June 13. Season ticket holders will receive their assigned selection time through email and mail. Fans wishing to purchase new season tickets can do so beginning June 29.
The Gators have unveiled their Virtual Venue which shows a realistic look at sight-lines in the renovated O’Connell Center and provides the ability to compare the prices, layout, design, and seats at the benefits at each section.