FAYETTEVILLE - In an effort to accommodate the University of Arkansas' record enrollment, growing student support and enhance the overall fan atmosphere at basketball games, additional courtside seats for students are being added at Bud Walton Arena.
The installation of bench seating, similar to that used in The Trough, a student section on the south side of the playing floor, will allow 175 additional students to sit near the court behind the east basketball goal adjacent to the Razorback Band. Construction is underway to transform the area into an extension of the existing student section. The new student seating will be available for the beginning of the 2013-14 basketball seasons. No basketball season ticket holders will be impacted by the change.
"With the University of Arkansas' enrollment now topping 25,000 and the increasing support from our student body for basketball games, we wanted to get more students closer to the action to help give our teams a bigger home court advantage," Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long says. "As our men's and women's basketball teams compete against some of the best teams in the country, we want our students to be an active part of the game. In addition to the impact they will have in person, now each time a free throw is shot on that end of the court, those watching on television will be able to see the passionate support our students have for Razorback Basketball."
Last February, the Associated Student Government passed a resolution supporting an increase in student seating nearer the Bud Walton Arena Court. The resolution cited the growing enthusiasm and support for Razorback Basketball including the record number of Razorback Access Passes purchased in recent years. Student leaders believe the access to more courtside seats will further increase student attendance and encourage student participation at basketball games.
"We have a tremendous student tradition here at the University of Arkansas," Head Men's Basketball Coach Mike Anderson says. "With the style of basketball we play, crowd involvement is critical to our success and that enthusiasm starts with our students. They asked for more seats closer to the court and our administration worked to make that happen. So now students, let's really make Bud Walton Arena one of the toughest places to play in college basketball."
With the style of basketball we play, crowd involvement is critical to our success and that enthusiasm starts with our students. They asked for more seats closer to the court and our administration worked to make it happen. So now we need them to be there cheering us on and helping make Bud Walton Arena one of the toughest places to play in college basketball."
To accommodate the additional courtside student seats, the working media section will be moved to the south east corner of the lower seating bowl. The customized media section will provide sight lines to the court as well as previously provided accommodations including media tables, power outlets and individual workspaces.