By next winter, Husker basketball players will be dribbling on a new court, with a new design and maybe a new logo.
Pinnacle Bank Arena officials are seeking bids on a new floor to be delivered in September and in use for next season.
And fans will be able to weigh in on the floor design in mid-March.
After six years of use and multiple installations, the current maple floor is getting old and some of the built-in cushioning isn't as strong as it used to be, said Tom Lorenz, arena manager.
The university is also looking at a new design, he said. So there will be a new floor with an entirely new look.
Nebraska Athletics will be seeking fan feedback on the floor design this spring.
Nebraska has four potential designs that will be unveiled on social media platforms, probably during the second week in March, said Marc Boehm, executive associate athletic director.
“We’re going to have our fan base give us their thoughts, kind of gauge what they like. We’ll make a determination shortly after that,” Boehm said.
Several of the designs — but not all of them — will include the state outline at center court, as currently exists. So fan voting will give an indication if they like the Nebraska outline as part of the logo.
The new floor will likely be lighter in color, though the exact shade hasn’t been determined, Boehm said.
Many schools are going to a lighter shade because it shows up better on television.
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“We are really going to focus on design now, and we will worry about the shade a little bit later,” Boehm said.
The instructions to potential bidders do hint at a modest design.
“Bidder can anticipate a reasonable design, not a complex University of Oregon type design,” the bid says.
The now famous Oregon floor includes three graphics and is framed by a view beneath a forest of fir trees.
That notation in the bid is intended to tell companies that the new design will not be so elaborate that it would change the price, Lorenz said.
The maple basketball court, 60-by-120 feet, sits atop the arena’s concrete floor. The floor comes in 4-by-8 foot sections, and it takes arena staff about two hours to install and remove before and after games.
The floor is removed and installed many times during a basketball season to accommodate other arena events, Lorenz said.
Staff removed the basketball court on Thursday morning, following Nebraska's men's basketball game on Wednesday, to prepare the arena for a Friday night concert. The court went back down Saturday morning, in time for the Husker women's team to play on Sunday.
It is common to have a portable floor that you can put in and take out in a relatively short amount of time.
Lorenz said he expected the portable basketball floor to last around five years. This is the sixth season for this floor.
"The floor still has good bounce to it, but it is getting a little rough around the edges,” Boehm said.
The West Haymarket Joint Public Agency, which built the arena, is responsible for buying the new floor. The JPA has included $150,000 in its budget for a new floor.
The old floor is being used as a trade-in, and the company that gets the contract will likely refinish, refurbish and resell it, Lorenz said.