SBD/August 18, 2011/Facilities

TCU Hurrying To Ready Football Stadium In Time For Sept. 17 Opener

TCU official says construction work has ways to go to be ready for upcoming game

Construction crews "continue at a brisk pace working on the $143 million renovations" to TCU's 81-year-old Amon G. Carter Stadium, but it remains to be seen if the partially renovated facility will "be ready" for the football team's home opener on Sept. 17, according to Stefan Stevenson of the FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM. The entire project "remains on schedule for completion" before the first game of the '12 season. But with less than a month before this season's opener against Louisiana-Monroe, TCU AD Chris Del Conte said, “We have a long ways to go to get ready for that particular game.  We were probably a little overconfident in that we didn’t really take into consideration all the things that go with a live construction zone.” While progress has been made, “with the west-side upper deck erected and lighting rigs nearly complete, there is major work left to do." Seats on the west-side club level "need to be installed and the two new scoreboards have yet to materialize." Crews have been "installing large speakers on either side of the frame for the scoreboard atop the party deck on the north end zone," and the north end zone stands "will be nearly complete, including completed restrooms, except for fully functioning concessions.” TCU Associate AD for Operations Ross Bailey said, "We are very much a construction zone for 2011 ... I think more than any of us want to realize. It’s going to be a challenge.” Stevenson noted "part of the challenge is finding room for more than 100 portable toilets and four comfort stations with air conditioning for the west side, which will be without restrooms in 2011.” In addition, the temporary press box, “set for the middle level of suites on the west side stands, have a long way to go before they look ready for even a workable temporary setting.” Crews hope to have coaches boxes “ready with temporary walls and drywall ceilings so they’ll be afforded the necessary privacy.” The temporary media area "will likely be open-air this season with little infrastructure inside" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 8/17).

DUKES ENERGY: The AP's Hank Kurz Jr. notes a $62.5M renovation to Bridgeforth Stadium gives FCS program James Madison Univ. a "home field that resembles what a top college football program might have." The facility's capacity has increased “from about 15,700 to 25,000.” The visiting sideline “still has concrete stands,” but JMU AD Jeff Bourne said that the “next phase of upgrades could make that section look similar to the home side and increase capacity to about 40,000." Bourne said that a "shortage of restrooms also has been addressed on the new side, but parking could become a trickier proposition for the general public.” He “dispelled the notion the stadium’s expansion is a prelude to a move to the larger FBS" (AP, 8/18).

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