Construction on Vines Addition to Begin After Commencement 2018
Liberty University announced March 17 its plans to expand the Vines Center to create a multipurpose arena that will accommodate sporting events and concerts that do not require the 10,000 seats that the Vines Center currently provides.
According to Daniel Deter, the vice president of major construction at Liberty University, the new expansion, which will be known as the Liberty Arena, will be beneficial to anyone attending events at Liberty. Preparations to begin the construction of the new arena will begin immediately following spring 2018 Commencement.
“This new venue will provide students with a more intimate place to go to support their Flames teams,” Deter said in an email. “With the overall lower seating count and higher angle for viewing the floor, students will be able to pack the house in support of our Flames teams — helping to provide our teams a true home court advantage. Plus, having a smaller venue for concerts that don’t need the 10,000-seat attendance, students will be closer to the action and have better sight lines.”
According to Deter, the new arena will be around 125,000 square feet and will be attached to the existing Vines Center. In addition, the new arena will accommodate events that hold around 4,000 attendees, and an additional 500 floor seats can be added if the court is not being used.
Deter also stated that the new facility will include several new amenities for athletes, staff and visitors. These new amenities will include four new locker rooms for the men’s and women’s basketball teams that will double as green rooms for events. There is also talk of moving the women’s volleyball locker rooms and offices into the new facility.
“This new arena will be laid out for both sporting and events in mind, (and) the largest difference between the new and existing arena is the collapsible seating,” Deter said. “The front rows of the new arena will retract to have much more flat floor area for different events. With the seats fully retracted, we can do two cross-court basketball courts, three volleyball courts or a full convention event, where max floor area is beneficial.”
According to Deter, underground utilities will need to be moved for the construction of the new arena.
Students’ day-to-day lives during construction of the arena, especially regarding Convocation, will be mostly unaffected, according to Deter.
“Convocation will be unaffected, as the new area is separate from the (existing) arena,” Deter said. “The buildings do touch each other, but they are separate venues. The area between DeMoss and the Vines Center will be mostly closed, and there will be no parking in this area. Students will still have access from the .”
The new arena, according to Deter, was strategically placed to make it easier for students to enjoy sporting events during their time at Liberty and attend the other events held at the arena.
“We believe that having the new Liberty Arena adjacent to the Vines Center keeps it in the heart of campus,” Deter said. “We evaluated other sites, and while they may have been easier to construct, they would not have been in this desirable location. We want to make sure that our students have easy access to the new arena and that they all come to support the Flames.”