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Mullins Center renovations aimed at improving fan experience

(Collegian File Photo)

(Collegian File Photo)

The University of Massachusetts recently completed a series of renovations aimed at improving fan experience at the Mullins Center, the University’s entertainment and sports complex, including new lights and updated seating.

According to Brian Caputo, director of operations at the Mullins Center, this change will make the building significantly more energy-efficient and will create a better viewing experience for fans.

The project, which was announced last May, includes the installation of new LED sports lighting, new upholstery for 3,594 seats and the installation of cup holders in 7,705 seats, according to a UMass press release.

“(LED lighting) will help cut energy costs by 75 percent and will enable us to create new lightning effects that we were never capable of doing with our old metal halide system,” Caputo said.

The new system is expected to allow the staff to handle the lights more efficiently and to create different light presentations, enhancing the experience of both players and fans, according to Caputo.

The decision to revamp the venue’s seats was made because of the noticeable deterioration of the chairs, according to Caputo. A large portion of the seats on the west side of the building had ripped cloth.

“We wanted to make the change to a more durable vinyl upholstery that would be stronger than the original upholstery that was installed when the building was built in 1993,” Caputo said.

Mullins Center management predicts that these modifications will make the building look more presentable, improving the comfort for season ticket holders and fans.

They also anticipate that the installation of cup holders will prevent spills, and that the inclusion of LED aisle lighting will create a safer walkway for the public.

The renovations will not affect the price of admission for either students or the general public.

Global Spectrum, the operator and manager of the Mullins Center, collaborated with the University throughout the project. Universal Electric Co. and Ephesus Lighting replaced existing high intensity discharge (HID) lighting with LED lighting, according to the release, and seating renovations were completed by Marois Construction.

A project to renovate the concourse bathrooms is in the planning stages, according to Caputo, in an effort to continue to improve the University’s environmental responsibility.

Cecilia Prado can be reached at sprado@umass.edu.

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