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University of Akron Board Approves Plans to Build New Downtown Arena

While many of Akron's athletic facilities have undergone renovations in the past decade, and the football program received a brand new $60 million dollar stadium, the pride of the Zips, the men's basketball program, has been left playing in a 31-year-old cramped arena.

The J.A.R. (James A. Rhodes Arena) is arguably the worst basketball facility in the MAC. It seats just 5,500 and lacks many of the modern features similar programs have.

That could change soon if the University of Akron board of trustees get their way. Wednesday, the board approved plans for a new 9,000 seat arena in downtown Akron, across from Canal Park Stadium, home of the Akron RubberDucks. It's put the Zips men's and women's basketball programs in the heart of the Rubber City.

The arena, which would cost an estimated $76 million to build, would be constructed on land owned by the university and the city of Akron, and funded by the taxpayers of Summit County through a sales tax increase if a ballot is approved in November.