University of Texas President Gregory Fenves announced via Twitter that the school will likely build an on-campus basketball facility to replace the Longhorns’ current arena, the Austin American-Statesman reported via Kirk Bohls’ sports blog last week.
The Frank Erwin Jr. Center, home of the Longhorns men’s and women’s basketball teams as well as location of countless large concerts, UT graduation ceremonies, and other special events, must be demolished to make way for future development connected to the Dell Medical School and the “innovation district” planned to complement it.
Fenves announced that UT would most likely build its new facility in the current location of the parking lot south of the Mike A. Myers Stadium and Soccer Field, Bohls added, noting that Red River Street on the east and Robert Dedman Drive on the west of the site will need to be straightened if that plan is followed. The facility would also host special events.
The Erwin Center is named for the late, influential, and controversial UT System Board of Regents member Frank Erwin and opened in 1977. Since then, it has hosted Longhorns basketball, a wide range of special events, and, until 2015, UIL boys and girls basketball championships. It’s also one of Austin’s 10 most popular Instagram spots.