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SBJ/September 1 - 7, 2003/Facilities
UF fans snap up new seating
Published September 1, 2003
Three-year, $50 million renovation added 5,000 seats, 3,000 club seats and 34 suites.
Virtually all of the new premium seating being added was sold before the Gators began their 2003 summer practices, though sales efforts started just this year. As of early August, all 350 seats on the premier Bull Gator Deck had been sold and all but two of the suites had been leased — with nothing more than a low-key marketing campaign having been used for the new-look stadium, affectionately known as The Swamp.
With a $48,000 annual contribution required for each new suite, a $14,000 annual contribution for a grouping of four seats on the Bull Gator Deck and a $2,000 per seat cost on the club level, revenue for the school will grow along with the stadium. Greg McGarity, Florida's associate athletic director, said projections put 2003 revenue from premium seating at $8 million, compared with an estimated $1.5 million last year.
Other new features in the stadium, originally built in 1930, include renovated press areas and a $1.7 million Daktronics scoring system for the existing scoreboard.
The stadium's new 90,000-seat capacity also ensures that it stays among the 10 largest in college football for this season.
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
City: Gainesville, Fla.
Tenant: University of Florida football
Owner/operator: University of Florida (both)
Architect: DLR Group
General contractor/construction manager: Turner Construction and PPI (joint venture)
No. of seats: Adding 5,000, for a total of 90,000
No. of suites: Adding 34, for a total of 62
No. of club seats: Adding 3,000 (none previously)
Projected cost: $51.7 million
Funding: The University Athletic Association issued $49.5 million in 30-year, tax-exempt bonds to be repaid with stadium revenue. The balance comes from private contributions.
Seat provider: Hussey Seating Co.
First game: Aug. 30 vs. San Jose State
BEN HILL GRIFFIN STADIUM SUBCONTRACTORS
|All Florida Electric||Electrical contractor|
|Architectural Graphics Inc.||Signage and graphics|
|Bliss & Nyitray||Structural engineer|
|Gate Precast||Precast concrete|
|Kone Corp.||Elevators and escalator|
|Mader Southeast Inc.||Fireproofing|
|Nelson & Affiliates Inc.||Drywall|
|PMK Consultants||Sound and PA consultants|
|Pro Sound||AV installer|
|Register Contracting Inc.||Roofing|
|SB Ballard||Foundation concrete|
|Shivers Painting & Waterproof||Painting|
|Trinity Fabricators||Miscellaneous metals|
|TSG Industries Inc.||Curtain wall and glazing|
|Watson Construction||Site work|
|WW Gay Fire Protection Inc./WW Gay Mechanical Contractor Inc.||HVAC, fire protection and plumbing|
|Sources: University of Florida, University Athletic Association|