March 3, 2006
The UVa men's basketball teams says goodbye to its longtime home this weekend as they play their last game ever at UHall, but the building isn't going away anytime soon.
It's been a part of the community for the last 41 years--but we're not saying goodbye right away. The building will remain standing for another seven to ten years hosting events like high school all-star games, summer camps, and professional wrestling.
Although the basketball team is moving, UHall is still home to some teams, locker rooms, weight-rooms and offices all of which will continue to operate. But in the future expect to see the building demolished and the land going to other use.
"It's probably a great site for a potential field-house, an indoor facility where we could move football, lacrosse, baseball, field hockey, soccer, all those outdoor sports indoors at those times during the year that it may be either too wet or too cold to otherwise participate outside," said Craig Littlepage, UVa's Director Of Intercollegiate Athletics Programs.
The John Paul Jones Arena will not only host basketball, but as many as 90 different events that UHall just couldn't handle
"From concerts to conventions, business to the circus and different types of cultural activities that right now we are just not able to hold in University Hall because of limitations of it's size and the other limitations that the building has no air conditioning etc," said Littlepage.
The new arena is something that's been talked about for 20 years and UVa is the last school in the ACC to upgrade their basketball teams' facility.
"It's about time, it's well overdue and the fact that we waiting this long I think [is] only fitting that we have what will be the best facility anywhere in the country," said Littlepage.
UHall is only steps away from the new arena -- one that will hold 15,000 people, and be the largest in the state. The John Paul Jones Arena is expected to bring in over 1.5 million visitors over the next three years.