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.