Billionaire alum donates $20M to University of Houston

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A billionaire is giving $20 million to the University of Houston. Jeff Ehling reports.

Billionaire University of Houston alum Tillman Fertitta just donated $20 million to remodel the former Hofheinz Pavilion.

Fertitta Center is where the money is going, that will be the name of the new basketball arena.

The $60 million facility will replace Hofheinz Pavillion. It is seen as a vital step for the University if it hopes to become the newest member of the Big 12 Conference.

As you know, the Hofheinz name has been on the basketball arena for 47 years, but the family said it was time to move on, and they say their father would not mind the name change because he too wanted the best for the university.

Judge Roy Hofheinz's son and Tillman Fertitta both addressed the name change and if there were any bad feelings, they certainly did not show.

Fred Hofheinz said, "We think it is real significant that the name of one great Houston entrepreneur, Roy Hofheinz is going to be replaced by another great Houston entrepreneur, Tillman Fertitta."

Tillman Fertitta, chair of the University of Houston Board of Regents, said, "To be a part of the next generation of the University of Houston, when being here and hanging out there and coming to the concerts and sporting events at Hofheinz Pavillion, and to be able to take it to the next level is extremely, extremely special to me."

The Hofheinz name is not leaving the campus, their will be a street bearing the name and a plaza and statue as well.

As for the Big 12 bid, officials here say they should know in 60 to 90 days if the University of Houston will join the conference and they say the new arena is something they must have in order to make into the Big 12.

Below are renderings of some of the proposed remodeling sites:
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