HATTIESBURG, MS (CelebrityAccess) — Officials at the University of Southern Mississippi have announced plans for a major refurbishment of the venerable Reed Green Coliseum.
Athletic director Bill McGillis told the Associated Press that the effort to turn the facility into a multi-function venue would likely cost upwards of $45 million, but noted that details on the project's funding and timetable have yet to be worked out.
"I think people in our community recognize that the coliseum, while located on campus, is a community asset — more so probably than a university asset. That's why, to me, it's not about when we want to go forward (with the project), because it's going to be a determination by a lot of folks," McGillis told the AP.
First opened in 1965, the coliseum remains largely unchanged. It currently hosts Southern Miss men’s and women’s basketball games and practices, as well as volleyball matches and practices, along with a few community events such as graduations.
McGillis noted that the 8,000-capacity Coliseum hosts very few concerts due to its technical limitations and hopes that the upgrade would change that.
"We get very few concerts here," McGillis told the AP. "We get very few family shows, very few large-scale events. It's because the coliseum can't serve those events. We play basketball in the coliseum 15 to 20 times a year. That's 300-plus more opportunities a year to host events." – Staff Writers