The 21 million dollars that have been frozen since 2008 for Stoney Brook's renovations of their basketball arena have been freed up. The Sea Wolves will be able to to have a state of an art multipurpose arena that has been designed by one of the groups involved in Citi Field.
For the past four seasons, Stony Brook's basketball teams have played in 1,800-seat Pritchard Gymnasium while Stony Brook Arena lay dormant next door, awaiting previously approved state funds for renovation to be unfrozen. The wait ends tomorrow when university officials formally announce a $21.1 million construction project to create a 4,000-seat sports and entertainment venue.http://mobile.newsday.com/inf/infomo;JSESSIONID=505DDFECACC0D080B18902345522EEE4?site=newsday&view=sports_item&feed:a=newsday_5min&feed:c=sports&feed:i=1.3728108&part=0
Construction is expected to begin the second week of June, and the facility is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014. The renovations will include four luxury boxes and a VIP lounge area at the loge level with premium courtside seating, thanks to an anonymous private donation of $1 million because state funds cannot be used for that purpose. The north side of the current structure will expand toward the parking lot to create room for concessions, restrooms and a concourse.
Seating capacity for basketball will be 4,008, expandable to 4,200 with floor seating for entertainment events. Unlike the previous arena, most of the seating is permanent except for grandstands that roll back at each end of the court, where student seating is located. One of the architectural companies involved also designed Citi Field for the Mets.
While 21 million wouldn't put a dent into the work the coliseum would need if renovations is the direction the county and the Isles go in, it is nice to see a Long Island team being able to get an arena to compete in today's economic climate. The state already has 30 million put aside for the Islanders arena, but a lot more funds are going be needed if the Islanders are going get their own hockey multipurpose arena to stay on Long Island proper.
Will the Islanders be able to get the renovations or new arena they need to be able to compete in today's sports climate? One Long Island team has!