SBD/Issue 224/Facilities & Venues

UT's Phase II Renovations At Neyland Stadium Almost Complete

Neyland Stadium Renovations Will Be Completed
In Time For UT's September 5 Home Opener
Phase II of the $200M renovation of the Univ. of Tennessee's (UT) Neyland Stadium "will be complete in time" for UT's home opener against Western Kentucky Univ. on September 5, according to Mike Griffith of the KNOXVILLE NEWS SENTINEL. Upgrades include a new $4M, 4,500-square-foot scoreboard made by Mitsubishi that "will provide replays like few other venues thanks to another $750,000 that has been spent on high-definition cameras and equipment." Also, two West-side elevators "will be ready for use this season," while five new cantilever decks will "serve as enclosed hospitality areas for the sixth- and seventh-level skybox areas and fifth-level press box area." The club-level hospitality area "features an open patio, or fans can stay inside the area to watch the game on a 103-inch plasma TV." The third level "features the yet-to-be-complete 'Tennessee Terrace,' a large meeting area open to all fans." The Tennessee Terrace will be "open air this season but in 2010 will be climate-controlled and enclosed with a glass wall." Knoxville-based Rentenbach Constructors Inc. "has handled Phase II contracting in cooperation" with Knoxville-based McCarty-Holsaple-McCarty, "which did the design work" (KNOXVILLE NEWS SENTINEL, 8/9). In Knoxville, Mark Packer wrote under the header, "New Jumbotron In League Of Its Own." UT's new jumbotron is "more than 4,500 square feet of crystal-clear video screen that will amaze every person who steps into Neyland Stadium this season." Tennessee's Vol Network VP & GM Steve Early: "That entire area is now a digital TV that is 124 feet in length and 37 feet tall." Packer: "How will this videoboard compare to other schools in the SEC? Let's just say that for a little while the rest of the conference will be chasing the Vols in that category." Meanwhile, Packer notes on the exterior of Neyland Stadium will feature "three pictures that will be lit 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year" (KNOXVILLE NEWS SENTINEL, 8/9). Dish Network, Pilot Travel Centers, and Food City are the three brands that will be featured on the scoreboard (Don Muret, SportsBusiness Journal).

SPEED OF SOUND: In Raleigh, Robbi Pickeral reported the Univ. of North Carolina athletics department used $1M from its new Nike contract to "install a new sound system and enhance the lighting system" at Dean E. Smith Center "in a way that will make NBA-style player introductions possible." The "crowd-revving intros could serve as a good recruiting tool, considering N.C. State, Wake Forest, and Virginia are among the ACC schools that already do it." Meanwhile, upgrades to the weight and training rooms at Smith Center "should be finished before this season," while construction "should begin on the coaches offices" next spring (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 8/9).

FAU Home Opener In '10 Could Move
With New Venue Now Slated For '11
CHANGE OF VENUE: In West Palm Beach, Tom D'Angelo noted with the opening of Florida Atlantic Univ.'s (FAU) new football stadium "now scheduled for 2011," FAU is "looking into playing its 2010 opener against Michigan State in Detroit or Chicago." FAU "owes Michigan State $150,000 for the game and playing at Lockhart Stadium is not an option." If the game is moved, FAU "will keep the gate and playing at Ford Field or Soldier Field could net FAU about" $2M. The "only other option is to move the game to Land Shark Stadium," but FAU AD Craig Angelos said that FAU "could lose money" doing that (PALM BEACH POST, 8/8).

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