CHAPEL HILL, N.C. —Athletic director Bubba Cunningham saw North Carolina win a pair of NCAA championships this season and earn recognition as the nation's best women's athletic program. Now he's looking ahead to facility upgrades that could include changes to the home of the Tar Heels' men's basketball team.
Cunningham, who took over as AD in November 2011 during the middle of a school year, is looking at facility upgrades. The most pressing concern is an aging Fetzer Field that is home to the soccer, lacrosse and outdoor track programs. Two of those teams, women's lacrosse and women's soccer, won NCAA titles this season.
He's also looking at upgrades to the Smith Center, home to men's basketball, as a way to generate revenue to pay for updates to Fetzer while also investing to keep Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams' program among the elite
Cunningham pointed to the "Blue Zone" permanent end-zone seating section in Kenan Stadium with club seats for football as an example. The athletic department estimates it generates about $4 million annually in gross revenue and $500,000 in net revenue.
Cunningham said he's looking at all options for the 21,750-seat Smith Center, men's basketball's home since 1986. Possibilities include tweaks to widen concourses and entrances, adding club suites or even a new building.