Aug. 18, 2000
The official opening of Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 24 when the Washington women's basketball team will play host to the defending national champions from Connecticut.
The initial proposed schedule was to reopen the Arena on Nov. 10 when the Husky men's basketball team faces Seattle Pacific in an exhibition contest. That game, as well as the Husky men's other exhibition contest on Nov. 14 against Brewster Packing will be played at Seattle Pacific. Washington's men's home game against Texas El Paso will be played at Key Arena on Nov. 21.
The Husky men's first game at the renovated arena is on Nov. 25 against New Mexico State. A planned season-opening home game against Portland State will likely be re-scheduled.
The opening of the Arena, which is in the final phase of a 20-month, $40 million renovation, was moved back two weeks to insure all aspects of the construction project would be completed before the building was open to the public.
"We could play a game in the Arena on Nov. 10, but we have decided to move the date back for several reasons," said Husky athletic director Barbara Hedges. "We always knew there would be some small projects associated with the construction that would not be completely finished until late November. We always understood that was a part of the timeline for the building. I spoke with several other schools that had opened or renovated facilities and I felt some of the best advice was to wait until everything was completed before opening to the public.
"Having our women's team play the defending national champions from Connecticut is a terrific way to debut the building," Hedges said. "Both Bob Bender and June Daugherty are comfortable with this schedule and how it impacts their games and practices. We feel that moving back our schedule several weeks is acceptable, especially considering how we have prolonged the life of the Arena."