SBD/May 30, 2013/Facilities

Vanderbilt Planning In-Depth Fan Survey, Focus Groups To Determine Stadium Upgrades

Vanderbilt Stadium could possibly be expanded to have as many as 50,000 seats
Vanderbilt Univ. football season-ticket holders, donors, alumni, local business owners and other Nashville-area residents soon will be asked how much they would be "willing to pay for a seat-back chair, loge seating, club-level access or even a suite" at Vanderbilt Stadium, according to Jeff Lockridge of the Nashville TENNESSEAN. Planning firm CSL Int'l has been "hired to conduct an in-depth survey" and will begin "contacting people and putting together focus groups near the end of June." The financial feasibility study "should take 75 to 90 days." Once Vanderbilt AD David Williams and his team "have the feedback they need, a potentially massive renovation plan will begin to form based on the projected revenue the endeavor will create." Hoping to "capitalize on the football team’s recent success, renovations could include expansion that would push capacity from 40,550 to about 50,000." Outside revenue will "fully fund the makeover, the extent of which will be determined by the survey results." Upfront money would "come primarily from premium seating sales (which could possibly include seat licenses) and naming rights to the stadium as well as its interior areas." Starting construction after the '13 season "seems unlikely because building a new training and sports medicine room is planned for next offseason." A $31M indoor practice field and multipurpose building "is scheduled to open on Oct. 31." Williams said that there will "not be a completely new stadium built from the ground up." He said that it is "not feasible 'financially or location-wise.'" But Williams added that there "are plans to address all sides of the stadium if the revenue is there" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 5/30).
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