University of North Alabama to Revamp Athletics Facilities with New Stadium, Baseball Field

The University of North Alabama has broken ground on a new athletics construction project that will build the first dedicated stadium for its community of Florence, Ala. Set for completion in 2026 with a base cost of approximately $65 million, the Bank Independent Stadium will feature a seating capacity of more than 10,000, 360-degree fan concourse, premium tower with a new weight room, 13 suites, multipurpose stadium club, outdoor gathering areas, and more, with the ability for future expansion built in.

The university is working with program management firm HPM on the project, which will oversee budgeting, scheduling, design management, risk assessment, and contract negotiation, according to a news announcement.

"The start of construction of Bank Independent Stadium signifies a new chapter for UNA's athletic program and the City of Florence, and HPM is ecstatic to be part of this dynamic project," said Ben Henson, vice president of program development at HPM, in a statement. "Bank Independent Stadium will be a transformative addition to the university, ushering in a new era of growth for the school and bringing best-in-class recreational and entertainment offerings to the community."

In a concurrent project (also managed by HPM), the baseball field adjacent to the stadium and UNA Spring Sports Complex at Cox Creek will receive a number of upgrades, including a multipurpose turf field and track that will be available for academic, athletic, intramural, and community use. The reimagined baseball field will feature a state of-the-art playing surface, all-chairback seating concourse, video board, and outfield wall inspired by Fenway Park's historic "Green Monster."

"It is gratifying to witness the great excitement for this project, commented UNA President Dr. Ken Kitts, "and to note how it complements the growth and academic success of the institution as we approach our third century of offering educational excellence."

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Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].