There will be notable changes in Coleman Coliseum beginning in the 2015-16 season. Following months of extensive research and analysis, The University of Alabama athletics department is announcing a seating reconfiguration plan, with the primary focus aimed at creating a more exciting environment and to help get the student-body more involved at the men’s basketball games.

“Our goal in this initiative is to improve the fan experience for all of our great basketball fans,” said Bill Battle, University of Alabama Director of Athletics. “I believe our students will respond favorably to our challenge to them to help us develop the most exciting game day atmosphere in the SEC, and a true home court advantage in Coleman Coliseum. Bringing them closer to the action will not only add to their ability to encourage our team, but will also add enthusiasm that only students can generate to further excite our fan base. And it will definitely enhance the bond that already exists between our players and the student body.”

The changes were decided upon after a study of vibrant on-campus basketball arenas from around the Southeastern Conference and around the nation, along with thorough discussions and planning. One of the key findings was that Alabama was one of the only schools in the SEC lacking a large number of available seats for students in close proximity to the court.

“One of the first things I noticed, and wanted to change, upon my hiring at The University of Alabama was to improve the fan experience at Coleman Coliseum, especially for our students,” head men’s basketball coach Avery Johnson said. “We have a large population of on-campus students and we want them to create the type of environment that’s needed and seen at the highest level. We are excited for this transition and we appreciate everyone’s support and understanding throughout this process.”

The plan calls for the current student section (located on the baseline toward the visiting team bench in sections V, W and X) to be moved to the first two sections across from the visiting bench (sections R and S) and wrap around the Northeast corner (sections T, U and V). With that, students will be relocated so they are closer to the floor in order to have more impact and help create an exciting home court environment.

“Students love to use body paint, to dress in costumes, and other things like that in order to see themselves on television,” Johnson said. “Their preference is to be close to the court where they can be seen and feel like they are helping their team. It puts them in a better position to cheer for our Crimson Tide team and against our opponent. We feel this is the start of creating a better environment at our games for our students.”

Due to the restructuring of the student section, network television cameras will move to the North side of Coleman Coliseum in order to shoot into the student section. As a result, the Coleman Coliseum floor will be repainted.