Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

The time is now for a new Coleman Coliseum

Courtesy of UA Athletics

Both the Alabama men’s and women’s basketball programs were a second thought in the minds of Alabama fans for years. With very little success and only one Elite Eight appearance in history, there was little hope for the future of the program. 

This was until head coach Nate Oats arrived and put Alabama men’s basketball back on the map. During his short time at Alabama, Oats and his staff have brought two SEC regular-season championships, two SEC tournament championships, two Sweet 16 appearances, an influx of talented recruits, and respectability back to Alabama basketball.  

As for the women’s program, head coach Kristy Curry has largely impacted the program since coming to Tuscaloosa 10 years ago. Last year, Curry led the team to its first 20-win regular season of the century and its second NCAA tournament appearance in three years. 

The rise of Alabama basketball has brought more students and fans into Coleman Coliseum. While it’s great that more people are showing up and supporting the teams, it also shines a light on how badly Alabama basketball needs a new arena. 

“I think we need a new arena because Coleman is becoming old and outdated,” Hunter Brantley, a senior majoring in news media with a concentration in sports media at The University, said. “I don’t think we have an advantage when we play at home, unlike some other teams in the SEC. Our little brother [Auburn] on the other side of the state has one of the best home-court advantages in all of college basketball. I don’t think Coleman right now provides that.” 

While there have been talks about building a new basketball arena, no announcements have been made to the public besides the announcement that the first stage was approved back in 2021. The reason for the delay, according to athletic director Greg Byrne, is the rising cost of the arena due to inflation. 

The University of Alabama, though, should prioritize building a new Coleman Coliseum. 

Right now, Alabama does not have a home-crowd advantage. Unlike courts where the student sections wrap around the entire arena to provide energy to their respective teams, Coleman has just one little section of students doing the best they can.   

A home crowd can completely change the outcome of the game due to the noise the crowd makes. Schools like Duke, North Carolina, Auburn and Kansas have all perfected this. If Alabama wants a home-court advantage, a new Coleman is a must. 

Another way that a new Coleman can help Alabama win more games is that arenas can help recruits pick where they want to play. In the recruiting process, players love to imagine what it’s like playing in a sold-out arena; this is one of the main advantages of Bryant-Denny Stadium. 

A new basketball arena with state-of-the-art technology and one of the most passionate fan bases in college football will help convince some highly touted recruits to pick up the crimson and white hat. 

It doesn’t help that right now the stadium looks outdated. Coleman was built in 1968 and has had very minor refurbishments to keep the stadium up to date. But the wear and tear of the stadium does show when you go to a game.  

One of the main issues is the lighting. Around the basketball arena, the lighting looks great, but in the medium to higher levels of the Coliseum, there is no light, and visibility decreases. 

Alabama men’s and women’s basketball are on the upswing. The only thing missing for these upstart programs is a new basketball arena where legends can be made.  

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