‘A great win-win for us’: Businesses are excited as work continues on new Baylor basketball arena

Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 5:22 PM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Businesses are feeling a buzz in the air as the new Baylor basketball arena inches closer to completion.

“You can actually see where the scoreboard is and where the seats are now,” Becky Lindsey, head manager at the Brazos Landing, said.

The new 7,000 seat Baylor basketball arena is making some noticeable progress along the Brazos River and IH-35. The $185 million project, known as the Foster Pavilion, will be available for concerts and performances throughout the year.

“We’re really excited. We’re hopeful that business will hopefully be increased,” Lindsey said.

The Brazos Landing restaurant sits right between the McLane Stadium and the new basketball arena. On football game days Lindsey sees a 25 percent increase in customers compared to a normal day at her restaurant. She hopes that she will see similar numbers once the Foster Pavilion opens.

“We have quite a few locals that park with us and eat with us before or after the football game,” she said.

The pavilion joins a growing community of new apartment buildings and other businesses, including Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, along the Brazos River.

“Before COVID usually on Baylor game days, the patio would be full, the lobby would be full,” Glenn Cashaw, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop head manager, said. “It would be a lot more people.”

Cashaw said he welcomes plans for the new arena.

“Once that opens up, it’s just going to bring so much business back to downtown,” he said.

With that hope in mind, Brazos Landing plans on launching a ferry to take customers across the river.

“So you can basically park with us, eat with us and we’ll take you across and we’ll come get you after the game,” Lindsey said.

The restaurant is already looking at new specials to offer on basketball game days.

“We’re planning that it will be a great win-win for us,” Lindsey said.

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop is also looking at new partnerships with Baylor for the new area. The Foster Pavilion is expected to be completed by spring 2024.