SBD/April 5, 2012/Facilities

ASU Unveils Plans Featuring Canopy For Smaller-Capacity Sun Devil Stadium

ASU rendering features futuristic-looking canopy to protect fans from sun
Arizona State Univ. unveiled plans yesterday for its "long-awaited renovation of Sun Devil Stadium, complete with a futuristic-looking canopy to protect football fans from the scorching sun," according to Jeff Metcalfe of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. Renderings "revealed a unique, modern stadium on the current venue’s iconic spot between the buttes on the Tempe campus that would be neither an enclosed dome nor an open-air arena." The stadium renderings drawn up by Valley-based developer Future Cities "are considered preliminary, and the university has not hired an architect yet." In its "first major overhaul in a quarter of a century, the 54-year-old football arena would be smaller and opened up at one end to provide scenic views." The facility would seat 55,000 to 65,000 instead of the current 71,706. Some projections "put that timetable at" 10 years. Yesterday’s announcement "moved the new stadium closer to the front of the line, perhaps cutting that time frame in half." Metcalfe notes the other 11 Pac-12 schools "have spent almost" $1.3B on football stadium projects since '98. Major funding for the stadium, which "could cost as much as" $300M "including the canopy, still will come from revenue generated by the new district. But ASU "plans to get started by using private donations, premium-seating revenue, the university’s share of new Pac-12 television revenue that starts this year, and perhaps bonds, but not from tuition or tax support to the university" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 4/5). ASUDEVILS.com's Chris Karpman notes school officials "hope financing plans are in place by June." ASU AD Steve Patterson said that the lower bowl of the stadium "could remain, albeit with a different seating configuration, or be replaced, but it will depend on the cost and other factors" (ASUDEVILS.com, 4/5).

GRASSY KNOLL: In Nashville, Jeff Lockridge notes Vanderbilt Vice Chancellor of Athletics David Williams "confirmed that a large 'berm' is to be constructed in the open end of Vanderbilt Stadium as a place for fans to watch games starting this fall." The project, in "addition to other renovations, is scheduled to begin after the Black & Gold scrimmage" on April 14. While several schools such as Clemson and Virginia "have hillside seating, Vanderbilt’s affinity for the idea stemmed from" the team’s '11 visit to BB&T Field at Wake Forest, which features "Deacon Hill" in one end zone. Vanderbilt will "begin selling season tickets for its hillside seating" today. The university will also "install a JumboTron in the open end zone that will showcase a significantly larger screen than the one above the closed end zone" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 4/5).

PRICE OF COTTON: In Dallas, Steve Thompson reports the Dallas City Council last night unanimously supported taking on an additional $25.5M in debt for "major improvements" to the Cotton Bowl. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and the State Fair of Texas are "pitching the improvements in a bid to keep the annual Texas-Oklahoma football matchup until at least 2020." Council member Dwaine Caraway said that if anything, the $25.5M "isn't enough." Caraway: "Twenty-five million dollars, realistically, is not enough money for what we're talking about. We're patching it up once again" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 4/5).
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