On the heels of celebrating the expansion of Memorial Stadium, a celebration takes place across the way at the new home of Husker basketball.
The ribbon has been cut, officially opening the Pinnacle Bank Arena, the $179 million home for both the University of Nebraska Cornhusker men’s and women’s basketball teams.
Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler acknowledges that while the arena is the latest jewel for the city, it belongs to all of Nebraska.
“Together we are raising one more really big barn,” Beutler tells a crowd gathered at the arena, just off the Historic Haymarket off downtown Lincoln.
Beutler says the arena wouldn’t have been possible without approval of Lincoln voters, who overcame a lot of naysayers, according to the mayor.
Husker Basketball Coach Tim Miles looks forward to tip-off.
“You know, they said a long time ago, build it and they will come and this is just a start, this is just a beginning and it’s an exciting one,” Miles says. “So, welcome to Pinnacle Bank Arena and Husker basketball.”
The Pinnacle Bank Arena will host more than basketball, of course.
It will provide a venue for concerts and a variety of events. Singer Michael Buble opens the arena September 13th, though the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has used the facility before it officially opened, holding commencement ceremonies in the building.
The Husker women open their season at the arena October 27th with an exhibition game against Pittsburg State. The men and women host a double-header in early November to begin the season for real, with the women playing UCLA and the men following with Florida Gulf Coast.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:40]