Support Us Button Widget

Inside the $82 million Memorial Coliseum renovations

Learn about the changes coming to UK’s historic venue.

Memorial Coliseum — a tall stone building on UK's campus

Memorial Coliseum | Photo by Mark Cornelison

Table of Contents

Last week, both the UK Athletics Committee and University Board of Trustees gave the green light to begin an $82 million renovation of the historic Memorial Coliseum.

Located at 201 Avenue of Champions, the 8,500-seat venue is home to the UK women’s basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, and STUNT teams.

⏰ Let’s rewind

  • 1950 — Memorial Coliseum is built costing ~$4 million, and opens with a seating capacity of 11,500. Fun fact: It was home to the men’s basketball program until 1976.
  • 1990 — A $1 million renovation introduced basketball and athletics administration offices, players’ lounges, a meeting room, and a state-of-the-art weight training facility. The renovation reduced the seating to 8,500.
  • 1998 — The $2.4 million Center for Academic and Tutorial Services (CATS) opens inside Memorial.
  • 2007 — A new video board and scoreboard are installed.
  • 2008 — A new sound system was added.
A slideshow of renderings of memorial coliseum

Fans can get excited about a new video board, sound system, and updated seating. | Photos courtesy of UK Athletics

⏰ Fast forward

Renovations are set to begin after March 11, and athletic competition areas are expected to be ready for team use by fall 2024.

In case you didn’t know, Memorial Coliseum was named to honor and pay tribute to the Kentucky servicemen and women who died in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and following military service. UK plans to enhance and highlight this recognition in the renovation.

Other key items include the not so exciting, but desperately needed air conditioning system and updates to the offices and academic facilities.

Fans will be excited to see updated seating, upgraded lobby and concourse spaces, the addition of club seating, as well as an improved lighting and sound system.

Check out even more photos of the proposed changes and a peek back into history, online.

More from LEXtoday