Nov. 1 deadline for fundraising on Ole Miss basketball arena

OleMissLogoBy Parrish Alford
Daily Journal

OXFORD – Two years after its launch, the Forward Together Capital Campaign has reached what Ole Miss athletics director Ross Bjork calls the “building phase.”

However, the new phase of this project to fund an Ole Miss basketball arena comes with a catch in order to avoid delays.

The school must receive $10 million in new pledges and cash by Nov. 1 to maintain the current construction calendar.

Officials hope the new arena will open in January of 2016. Before then comes a five-story parking garage that is set to begin construction this fall and open in a year.

The campaign has “exceeded the $95 million mark in pledges and cash” the school announced in a release Friday.

“Our team will continue to ask for fans’ support, and we know that Rebel Nation will continue to respond,” Bjork said in the release.

Ground-breaking for the new arena is scheduled for the spring of 2014.

The arena will host other events, but its primary purpose is to replace aging Tad Smith Coliseum which opened in 1966.

The arena will be built on the west side of the football stadium where a parking lot and merchandise store currently sit.

The parking garage will have 500 spaces. It will be built south of the planned arena site where the northern-most of three football practice fields currently sits.

parrish.alford@journalinc.com