Media Advisory

Seating demolition begins at UF's O'Connell Center

Demolition is underway at the University of Florida’s Stephen C. O’Connell Center, where workers this week began removing seating in the arena in preparation for a major overhaul.

New seating will be installed in order to enhance the patron experience. Bleachers will be replaced with chair back seating, and seats will be replaced throughout the entire venue, improving seat comfort.

“Our goal is to get it done and make something the community can be proud of, that the university can use and get benefit from so generations to come can enjoy coming to the events put on here,” said Josh Light, Brasfield & Gorrie senior superintendent and the general contractor for the project: 

The arena is now closed. The swimming pool will remain open until March 26 for the 2016 U.S. Collegiate Synchronized Championships, and the Florida Gators Gymnastics team will use the auxiliary training space until April 14. The building is expected to be closed until December.

To stay updated on the progress of the project, visit and follow the O’Connell Center on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @OConnellCTR. The website will be updated regularly with the locations of all displaced events as well as progress on the building renovation.

Contact: Lynda Reinhart, 352-392-5500,

Media Contact: Janine Sikes, 352-846-3903,

Video of the demolition is available at