HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Media members were able to tour the Atlantic Union Bank Center for the first time Wednesday.
The new basketball venue on the campus of James Madison University will begin hosting games for the JMU men’s and women’s basketball programs on November 25. Construction on the facility is nearly complete with games just two weeks away.
The AUBC is an 8,500-seat arena that provides JMU with a major upgrade from the Convocation Center, the school’s former basketball arena. The cost of the new arena and the accompanying parking deck is $139,500,000.
“As soon as you walk in the building, you are blown away,” said JMU men’s basketball head coach Mark Byington. “Just with the lights, the seating arrangement, just with all the different things it has.”
Aside from the main playing court, the arena is home to a practice facility, strength & conditioning room, new locker rooms & team meeting areas, and the UVA Orthopedics Sports Medicine Suite.
“It is indescribable for me because it’s so perfectly well done,” said JMU women’s basketball head coach Sean O’Regan.
It’s hoped that the Atlantic Union Bank Center will not only be a great place for fans to watch the Dukes to play but also have a positive impact on recruiting for both the men’s and women’s programs.
“We were clearly behind from the standpoint of facilities and being able to recruit,” said JMU Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne. “So to now have a facility that, I think, ranks as one of the best in the state and then clearly the best structure in our league, moves us to a different level.”