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Plans unveiled to ‘revitalise’ Kaplan Arena

The College of William & Mary (W&M) in Williamsburg, Virginia has unveiled plans to renovate Kaplan Arena and build a new state-of-the-art sports performance centre.

The plans are designed to revitalise the 8,600-seat Kaplan Arena, which serves as the home of W&M’s sports teams. The $57m (£43.8m/€51.5m) project will also seek to enhance the game-day experience for spectators and support W&M’s 23 varsity sports programmes.

Around $41m has been committed to the project through philanthropy and other sources, with the majority of funds having been provided by leadership gifts.

Director of athletics Samantha Huge said: “There will be a very noticeable difference in the way fans can participate in the sporting events as they cheer on the Tribe. The renovation underscores Athletics’ commitment to providing an immersive and interactive fan experience, increasing game-day attendance and adding to the breadth and depth of opportunities offered to the entire William & Mary community at the arena.”

The reimagined athletics complex incorporates Kaplan Arena, as well as the new sports performance centre, the Millie West Tennis Facility, Busch Field and the Tribe Field Hockey Center.

The project will include a new entrance and lobby, an enhanced student section with year-round lounge, upgraded spectator seating, premium hospitality areas, an exclusive courtside club, state-of-the-art scoreboard and ribbon boards featuring replay capabilities, a new sound system, concession stand improvements, bathrooms and locker rooms.

The project will include around 167,000 square feet of renovated and new spaces. Work is expected to begin in the autumn and conclude in 2022, with Kaplan Arena to remain open during construction.

Kaplan Arena opened in 1971 and has served as the home of W&M’s athletics programmes ever since.

W&M has partnered with Mosely and HNTB architects on the project. It has also engaged DPR Construction to ensure the project takes advantage of the latest trends and technological opportunities.

Image: William & Mary