SBD/August 23, 2013/Facilities

Nebraska's Memorial Stadium Now Fourth-Largest In Big Ten After $63.5M Renovation

Previous seat additions to Memorial Stadium had only come in the end zones
Univ. of Nebraska-­Lincoln officials on Thursday unveiled Memorial Stadium's $63.5M East Stadium expansion, and with the 6,000 additional seats, the facility "will now rank as the fourth-largest among Big Ten stadiums and be within about 500 seats of the top 10 stadiums in the nation," according to a front-page piece by Henry Cordes of the OMAHA WORLD-HERALD. The 3,300 new general-admission seats "are the first additional seats along the sidelines since the stadium opened nine decades ago." All previous stadium seat additions "have come in the end zones." There also are "2,119 new club seats and 38 additional skybox suites, bringing the total number of private suites in the stadium to 101." Each new seat "includes a chair back and a front rail for comfort and is 20 inches wide, 2 inches wider than the average for the rest of the stadium." The new East Stadium is "a totally separate building from the original." That construction approach "was necessary because the original stadium, built in 1922, cannot support the additional weight" (OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 8/23). In Lincoln, Kevin Abourezk in a front-page piece notes a six-level escalator at teh stadium "will offer fans an easy ride from the lower concourses to the upper levels." The lower concourses feature "concession stands with digital menus, as well as massive banners highlighting past Husker championships and bowl games." Patios facing east "allow fans to look at City Campus and downtown Lincoln" (Lincoln JOURNAL STAR, 8/23). The AP's Eric Olson noted "private donations and revenue from the new seating are funding" the project, which will be "paid off in seven years." Former Nebraska AD Tom Osborne "shepherded the stadium expansion as one of his last major projects before he retired" in January (AP, 8/22).

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: The AP's Dave Skretta noted AECOM on Thursday announced that the renovation of the west side of Kansas State Univ.'s Bill Snyder Family Stadium "finished on schedule." Construction had to "be squeezed into eight months in order to be ready" for KSU's opener Aug. 30 against North Dakota State. The "renovation resulted in new premium seating, improved media and broadcast facilities, the addition of the K-State Athletics Hall of Honor and other amenities." It also "doubled the amount of field lighting to meet NCAA national standards for high-definition TV broadcasts." An additional 250,000 square-foot facility includes "new suites and loge seating, retail locations and expansive concession and restroom facilities that also can be utilized by fans sitting in the preexisting bowl portion of the stadium" (AP, 8/22).
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