Rendering of new Ole Miss arena and stadium expansion

An artist rendering of new Ole Miss arena and stadium expansion.

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi revealed a two-phase $150 million capital campaign Tuesday that will fund a new basketball arena to replace the aging C.M. Tad Smith Coliseum and an expansion of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Funding in the new “Forward Together” campaign will be generated by both traditional philanthropic donations and Capital Gift Agreements, similar to Personal Seating Licenses used to help fund professional stadiums.

The announcement of the new campaign comes less than four months after Mississippi State University announced its capital campaign “Today. Tomorrow. Forever.” In which the MSU athletic department outlined plans for a new football only facility, along with an expansion to Davis Wade Stadium. Mississippi State’s plan for stadium expansion would put capacity somewhere around 61,000 fans.

The planned expansion of Vaught-Hemingway in Oxford would increase capacity to over 70,000 and be a near mirror image of the stadium’s south endzone that was constructed in 2002.

Rendering of new Ole Miss arena

A look inside the new Ole Miss basketball arena.

The first phase of the project includes construction of a brand new basketball arena. The arena is planned to sit directly east of the long time home of Rebel basketball “the Tad Pad.” The new facility will seat approximately 10,000 and include an exclusive entrance for students as well as courtside and baseline student seating.

Ole Miss’ new arena will also include over 1,000 premium seats with both floor and club seats available. The facility will also house a new Rebel Athletics Hall of Fame to highlight the tradition of the university’s athletic programs.

Phase one will also include a renovation of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium to update the facility’s concourse, concession stands and restrooms. All current club areas of the stadium are set to be renovated as well in the project.

The campaign will wrap up with its second phase which will include the actual expansion to the football stadium to lift capacity over 70,000 and add more premium seating.

Ole Miss has launched a website specifically for its capital campaign, A specific timeline for each phase of the project has not yet been announced, although officials made it clear that the expediency of the project is dependent on timely fundraising.

The Rebel football team kicks off its 2011 season with Brigham Young. The opener is slated for a 3:45 p.m. CDT start and will be televised nationally by ESPN.