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UA student claims new McKale seating leaves no room for tall fans

PHOENIX — A $30 million renovation to the basketball arena at the University of Arizona is getting mixed reviews, at least from one tall fan.

More seating was added to the McKale Center, as well as improved lighting, handrails in the aisles, a new floor and more.

KVOA-TV reported graduate student Will Green went to a recent game between the Arizona Wildcats and Gardner University and was pretty impressed with the improvements.

“I love the lighting,” he said. “I love what they’ve done with the facility in terms of making it sleeker.”

But Green claimed he was bullied after he couldn’t get comfortable in his seat. Green, who is 6-foot-4, is as tall as some of the players he was trying to watch.

“I’m a big guy,” he said. “I recognize the seats are always going to be less comfortable for me.”

But adding the additional seats has resulted in less leg room in the arena. It was too much to bear for Green. A video showed there was so little legroom that his knees actually poked between the seats in the row in front of him.

Green decided to stand up to get comfortable. When he did that, he said several people behind him started yelling and calling him names. A security guard asked him to either sit down move to another seat. Green refused.

“I also felt that I paid for this ticket, and I deserved to be able to see the game like everybody else and I wasn’t really being given any alternative.”

The video also showed several fans in the next section, who were not behind Green, also standing, though the report did not say why those people were on their feet.

Eventually, Green relented and moved to a seat in the student section.

“My last intent was to upset any of the fans and obstruct their view of the game, but I really didn’t feel that I was being treated with respect,” he said.

Meanwhile, the season ticket holder who invited Green to the game has also become a victim of the incident. The university asked her to move to another section for any future home games.

The University of Arizona has not commented on the incident, and has not yet responded to KTAR’s request for an interview.