A final peek inside the Pinnacle Bank Arena

By: Kayla Bremer

There's just two and a half months left before the Pinnacle Bank Arena will be open for business.

We've watched the arena grow since construction of the $180 million dollar project began more than two years ago.  Now, we sit just two and a half months from opening day.

The grand lobby is nearly complete.  A giant staircase leads to the second floor with decorative lighting hanging above it and a glass entry way that gives event goers a site to see.

“It's going to be a great view of the capitol building and of downtown Lincoln which was a focal point for the project to accentuate those views back to the capitol building,” Project Manager John Hinshaw said.

On Friday, construction crews worked on final seat installations.  The venue will seat 15,500 for basketball games. 

High atop mid–court will be a 45-ton high definition scoreboard.

“It's one of the first in college athletics that's been installed,” added Hinshaw.  “It's actually been lit up a few times and we'll start programming it this month.”

Another highlight of the arena is the retractable seating on the main floor that will allow for hundreds of more seats for concerts.

“Retractable seating gives the arena a lot of flexibility on the ground where the seating can actually retract back and create a huge convention floor space down here where they can do state conventions, they can do high school basketball, they can do high school wrestling and volleyball and create a lot of multiple court opportunities for the arena.”

Another proud design is the split upper level concourse.  Project managers say it's a feature common in stadiums, but unique for arenas.  Even if you're sitting in the “nose bleeds” you're guaranteed a great view.

“It's a little more vertical of a bowl and you're a little closer to the court now.”

The expected opening day is August 14th.

As of now, the first tentative scheduled event is UNL's summer graduation ceremony on August 16th.