Tuscaloosa, Ala. – Like an Alabama fan, Nate Oats has a new arena on his mind.
The Crimson Tide pulled off one of their most complete wins of the season on Saturday, defeating the Kentucky Wildcats, 78-52, in front of a raucous Coleman Coliseum crowd. After the win, Oats thanked the students and fans who filled the 55-year-old arena over the weekend.
He continued this thought on Monday appearance in the next round Before dropping an inaccurate line calls for supporters of the basketball program to help build a new arena.
“Anywhere that has a problem selling tickets, I think you go right back to the product you put on the floor,” oatmeal said. “If the product you put on the ground is good enough, people will want to see it, that’s exciting. I think of all the times I went as a fan – you want to go somewhere where it’s fun to watch on the floor. Obviously it’s better to win,” And I think people love to watch the way we play and our guys play together People love to watch kids having fun playing with each other.
“I think if you look at our squad, we’re talented but we play really well together. We play hard. Our kids play hard on the defensive side. It’s great to hear it’s being rewarded in this way. Hopefully we can continue to sell the place and if some people want to maybe contribute. We’re going to get a new arena so they can watch the game in a whole new arena. Coleman’s not bad, but we could use a new one.”
Almost a year ago, the University of Alabama Board of Trustees He approved a proposed plan for a new arena for basketball and gymnastics. Financially, the venue was initially scheduled to cost $183 million, but due to the pandemic, construction costs have increased by 30-40 percent, According to university president Stuart Bellwhich led to complications in the planning process.
The new arena is expected to seat 10,136 and is designed to “bring fans even closer to the action in the stadium.” Features will also include student seating around the majority of the lower bowl as well as new premium options in club, log, and lower level preferred seating.
Alabama (13-2, 3-0 SEC) is ranked #4 in the AP Top 25 Poll with many believing the Crimson Tide can make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament if they continue at this pace. In Oats’ tenure, Alabama has won regular season and tournament SEC tournament titles, made back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, and currently plays with the No. 3 recruiting class in the nation finishing three in the starting five and plays a huge role in the team’s success.
Oats has already accomplished a lot during his time in Tuscaloosa, but how important is a new arena to the coach, the team, and the future of the Crimson Tide men’s basketball program?
“It’s a big deal,” Oats said. “You look at some of the places we go and they have a really nice arena and our arena is a little bit behind. But I’ve said in the past, it really affects the fans more than it does us. The floor we play on is about as good as any floor in the SEC. They’re all pretty much the same. Our situation “With our gym, the locker room and all that stuff, it’s all top notch. We’re great out there. It’s not like it hurts us in recruiting or being able to win games.”
“But I just think for the program, for the university, for the athletic department, having a great arena for the fans to watch is important. I think having a home environment — now, when you pack this place with 15,000 like Kentucky had on Saturday, that’s a great home environment. Great home every game and I think with a new arena I think we can get a lot closer to that.So I think it’s a big deal for the future.
“Greg Byrne and the Board of Trustees and President Bell, they’re working on that. They’re trying to get us where we can get to. I think they were close and ready to go until inflation obviously affected construction costs a little bit. They’re trying to figure out more things at this point.”
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