December 20, 2018
Dear UT Community,
Today, the UT System Board of Regents made two important decisions that will have a direct impact on The University of Texas at Austin.
The board elected Regent Kevin Eltife to serve as chairman. A former mayor of Tyler and state senator, Regent Eltife was appointed to the board by Governor Abbott in 2017. He has been a great partner and strong supporter of the flagship university of the UT System. Chairman Eltife has a bold vision for UT Austin in service of the state as a world-class university. I look forward to working with him in his new role as chairman of the board.
In other news, the Regents approved our proposal to build a new basketball arena on the UT campus, just south of Mike A. Myers Stadium. The new arena is expected to open in 2021. Once it is complete, the 41-year-old Frank C. Erwin Center will be torn down.
The 10,000-seat arena will be the new home of Texas Men’s and Women’s basketball and other UT and community functions, including many of our college graduation ceremonies. Its capacity can expand to up to 15,000 for concerts and other events.
This innovative arena project will be built and operated by the Oak View Group — without university or public money.
It has been designed with UT student athletes and Longhorn fans in mind. It will be more accessible to our students and employees who work on or near campus. The interior will allow for closer-in, enthusiastic crowds and clearer views of the court. Our goal is to have students, fans, alumni, and future students cheer for our teams — and for our athletes to compete — at one of the best venues in the nation.
Gregory L. Fenves