SBJ/September 11 - 17, 2006/This Weeks News

Stanford unveils football stadium

Stanford University opens its renovated football stadium Saturday after completing an aggressive nine-month construction schedule without using national architects and general contractors.

Local firms were credited with helping
the university finish the $105 million job on time.
Instead two local firms, architect Hoover Associates and Vance Brown Builders, successfully tackled the $105 million job in Palo Alto, Calif.

Upgraded architectural elements such as stucco walls and additional rest rooms and concession stands increased the project cost from the original $85 million budget, said Ray Purpur, Stanford senior associate athletic director.

Stanford raised enough private money to pay for the renovation without having to sell naming rights for the facility, Purpur said.Hoover Associates and Vance Brown are based within a mile and a half of campus, and the proximity to the job site helped accelerate the project.

“We were able to meet on a regular basis and make decisions quickly,” Purpur said. “The key part was being local. We could jump in the car, drive down the street and there they were.”

Double construction shifts Monday through Saturday helped, too, and crews have been working Sundays for the last month to complete the project, Purpur said.

The work focused on tearing out the 85-year-old facility’s existing seating bowl and reducing capacity from 85,000 to 50,400 chairback seats.

The new four-level press box structure contains seven suites and 411 club seats. All premium inventory sold out in a few months, Purpur said.

The suites leased for $65,000 for one-year contracts. One suite has 16 seats, five each have 12 seats and the smallest unit seats six.

Stanford sold the club seats two ways. Major donors paid a minimum of $2 million to buy two club seats for perpetuity. The school reserved an undisclosed number of club seats for development purposes and sold them for $5,000 for five home games this season.

Premium-seat holders have access to a 6,000-square-foot lounge supporting the club seats on the second floor.

The renovation also increased the number of women’s toilets from 154 to 240 and about quadrupled concessions points of sale from 51 to 200.

Hoover Associates has no sports practice but previously designed $30 million in improvements to Maples Pavilion, the school’s basketball arena.

Vance Brown was the contractor for the arena renovation and has built 75 percent of the university’s facilities, Purpur said.

Both companies have ties to billionaire developer and Stanford alum John Arrillaga, who has donated $84 million in the last 12 years to upgrade or build new sports venues on campus. Arrillaga provided $35 million for the privately financed stadium project, Purpur said.

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