New hoops arena, Williams Stadium upgrades highlight Liberty athletics renovation projects

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) -- When sports do resume again at Liberty University, there will be a number of changes to the campus athletic facilities.

Most notably is the opening of the new Liberty Arena, which will replace the Vines Center as the home court for Flames basketball in November.

"We do think there's a good chance that at least a portion of the volleyball season will also be able to be played in the arena, but we're a little less clear on the specifics there," said Liberty Athletics Director Ian McCaw. "That will be a superior facility, a great environment and home-court advantage for our teams, so we're really excited about that."

Changes are also coming to the program's football facilities, including renovations to Williams Stadium's Carter Tower.

The upgrades will add new suites, hospitality areas and a set of luxury indoor club seats in 2020. The new-look football operations center is also nearing completion.

"It is spectacular. It's really going to be a game-changer for us between the LFC and the indoor practice facility," McCaw said. "Those give us elite Power Five-level facilities for our football program, so we're very excited about what that's going to do for us."

As an independent, Liberty may also be tasked with replacing opponents if the upcoming football season is altered by COVID-19.

"We have discussed contingency plans. Certainly, some people have talked about the possibility of a shortened season in 2020 and we have discussed that," said McCaw. "Also, the possibility that the conferences may just play the conference portion of the schedule, and that's a scenario where we've actually had some preliminary discussions about replacement games, including against some of our fellow independents.

"We do have contingency plans in place, but I'm very hopeful that we'll be able to play the full 2020 season."

Liberty is scheduled to open the upcoming football season at Virginia Tech on September 5.

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