Miami Hurricanes’ basketball arena renamed Watsco Center, facility upgrades coming

Miami's Anthony Lawrence Jr. takes a foul shot in this 2016 game at BankUnited Center. (Getty Images)

Miami’s Anthony Lawrence Jr. takes a foul shot in this 2016 game at BankUnited Center. (Getty Images)

[Analyzing UM’s 2016-17 schedule]

[Larranaga encouraged by summer progress]

Miami’s basketball arena has been renamed.

The former BankUnited Center is now known as the Watsco Center.

Watsco, based in Miami, distributes air conditioning, heating and refrigeration products. It has donated to UM since the 1990s, according to a school press release.

The arena, which cost $48 million and opened in Jan. 2003, has since then hosted UM’s men’s and women’s basketball games, musicians and performers, community events, and several presidential debates, forums and rallies.

With 7,972 seats, it is the largest arena on campus and largest such facility south of downtown Miami.

As the BankUnited Center, it was known informally as “The BUC.”

Facility upgrades: Coach Jim Larranaga told reporters Monday that the arena, which houses locker rooms, student-athlete lounges, office spaces, weight room and practice facility hallways, will undergo a $1.7 million upgrade this month. A second phase will begin after the season ends.

According to Canesport, new graphics and images will adorn the hallways. The players’ lounge will add a gaming center, couches, TVs and a barbershop. The locker room will be upgraded with a new sound system and custom lockers.

“In the ACC we have some programs that are like the Four Seasons, the Ritz-Carlton,” Larranaga said, according to Canesport. “We’re more like the Delano, that boutique place. A small private school, beautiful location, a great environment, very different than a large state university that has all the bells and whistles, facilities, 20,000 seat arena.”

Larranaga also said UM will sell out season tickets for the second year in a row. Some 300 remain.

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