Baxter Arena

University of Nebraska Omaha Baxter Arena

Baxter Arena

Arena Enhances Connections to the Community

As the University of Nebraska Omaha's (UNO) main assembly building, the new Baxter Arena is a physical representation of UNO's athletic brand and anchors the southern extent of the campus. The facility is designed to serve multiple activities, weaving together function and aesthetics.

HDR and Lempka Edson Architects completed master planning and architectural and engineering design services for the new arena. The arena offers a full-spectrum student life experience, reinforces UNO Athletics and engages Omaha's vibrant Aksarben Village culture. Baxter Arena is home to UNO's Frozen Four-level hockey team as well as the school's emerging Division I basketball and volleyball programs and has the capacity to host campus recreation activities and graduation ceremonies.

Within the main Arena, the sports lighting system is one of the first new facilities in the country to utilize a 100% LED solution.  Dynamic control capabilities allow one single luminaire type to provide the sports lighting, maintenance, and egress lighting. To add to the open, airy feel of the roof structure, a three-and-one-half-inch deep acoustical roof deck with a 14-foot allowable span was used for the main arena roof. This meant the number of roof joists could be reduced, with only two in-fill roof joists used between each main truss. Wider joist spacing adds to the open feel of the roof structure, and the acoustical deck absorbs unwanted sound and reverberations. As part of the architecture, the structure of the main arena roof must remain exposed. In most arenas, ceilings are painted black, so HVAC, electrical conduit, and sound baffles are less visible.

Located adjacent to Omaha’s booming Aksarben Village neighbourhood, the facility features:

  • A 7,800-seat arena
  • Community ice with public access for activities such as open skate and lessons — the front door and showcase of the entire facility
  • Full-size competition ice home to the UNO Mavericks hockey team

With a move to their own “house,” the University and the Mavericks enhance their brand and provide fans with an unforgettable experience — while visibly connecting the UNO campus to the community. 

University of Nebraska Omaha Baxter Arena

Awards

Illumination Awards, Merit Recipient (2017)
Illuminating Engineering Society, Omaha Section
Award of Outstanding Achievement (2016)
American Concrete Institute, Nebraska Chapter
Excellence in Design, Merit Award (2016)
Built Category
American Institute of Architects, Nebraska Chapter
Grand Award (2016)
Engineering Excellence Awards
American Council of Engineering Companies of Nebraska
IDEA Awards (2016)
Community and Civic Category
International Interior Design Association, Great Plains Chapter
Peoples' Choice Award (2016)
Engineering Excellence Awards
American Council of Engineering Companies of Nebraska
Award of Merit (2016)
Lighting Systems Design
Architectural Engineering Institute
American In-house Design Award (2016)
POP Displays, Signs + Environmental Graphics
Graphic Design USA