On the heels of Oral Roberts’ memorable basketball season, the Mabee Center is undergoing a significant renovation that will update the building’s iconic appearance.
The arena, which turns 50 next year and is used for a variety of events, is getting a new look inside and outside. Gold seats are being swapped for navy ones, and the exterior is being painted and enveloped with blue glass.
“I think we’ve got just a wonderful color scheme going on,” deputy athletic director Tim Johnson said. “We’ve gotten a lot of compliments and a lot of people driving by and seeing it and really being impressed with just the dramatic shift of what it looks like and how it’s going to be look so much more modern.”
The current phase of the project is on track to be done by the time basketball season starts in November. The concourse will be redone and new suites will be added. The south lobby will be updated during another phase and a new arena floor also is in the works.
“We’re really happy with how it’s coming along,” Johnson said. “Everybody gets excited because you know what you’re working on is going to leave a legacy, a lasting legacy that people are going to be seeing this version of the Mabee Center for maybe the next 50 years. We’re really proud of what it looks like.”
After a March Madness run that ended with a narrow defeat against Arkansas in the Sweet Sixteen, ORU received a major donation to fund the development of the Mike Carter Athletic Center, a 40,000-square-foot structure that will be connected to the Mabee Center.
Named for longtime athletic director Mike Carter, who is retiring at the end of the month and will be replaced by Johnson, the three-story addition will include two basketball courts, a strength and conditioning facility and athletic department offices.
That project is expected to break ground in October.