UD Arena opens its doors to fans for the first time after phase two of renovations

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Neil Sullivan takes a closer look at phase two of the $72-million dollar project.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Dayton women play exhibition game, and men’s team follows Friday

Fans of the Dayton Flyers will notice right away in the new concourses at UD Arena how much more wall space there is. UD has taken advantage of that by placing giant photos of recent Flyers such as Kyle Davis, JaVonna Layfield and Jordan Sibert on the walls, but there is plenty of more space to cover in the future.

“We knew there was going to be a lot of wall space,” said UD Arena Director Scott DeBolt, “and there are a lot of blank walls. That’s intentional with this process. We just want to see how it works. We’ll add stuff as the season goes along. We’ll see what works and what doesn’t work.”

PHOTOS: First look inside UD Arena after phase two

UD Arena opened its doors for the first time this season Thursday with the Dayton women’s team playing Indianapolis in an exhibition game, showing off the many changes that came in phase two of the three-year, $72 million renovation project. For DeBolt, it’s a holiday of sorts.

“It’s like Christmas morning with your kids, seeing their reaction and all that,” DeBolt said. “You just hope they don’t rip the presents open too fast. So far everything’s been real positive. We’re happy with the comments we’re getting. Just like any opening day, we’ve got a few glitches, but we’re good.”

Fans will notice one of the four corner suites is open and operational this year.

“As part of the phasing process, we’re kind of test driving that this year,” DeBolt said. “We’ll let some various people who are interested use it, and hopefully next year we’ll be selling two or three of them on an annual basis and maybe keep one of them on a game by game.”