SBJ/August 22-28, 2011/In Depth

North Texas, FAU set to debut new stadiums

Two new college football stadiums open this season, at the University of North Texas and at Florida Atlantic University. Both schools are members of the Sun Belt Conference, both stadiums were designed by HKS, and both buildings seat about 30,000.
 
North Texas, based in Denton, recently announced a naming-rights deal with Apogee, an Austin, Texas-based campus networking firm. The 20-year deal is valued at about $1 million annually. As of mid-August, the school had only one suite remaining to sell and had sold more than 600 club seats, according to Cooper Jones, senior associate athletic director of development. In both cases, North Texas has surpassed the benchmarks it set for that portion of stadium revenue used to pay construction debt, Jones said.

FAU Stadium opens in mid-October, one month after North Texas, and as such, the Owls will play five of their last seven games this year at home at the new venue. As of last week, school officials in Boca Raton had not signed a naming-rights deal. Thirteen suites had been sold, and the facility’s 26 loge boxes are sold out. There were 391 Premier Club seats sold and 1,463 Priority Club seats sold. With eight weeks left before the first home game, FAU officials were confident they could sell most of the remaining premium inventory, said Athletic Director Craig Angelos.

The University of North Carolina, meanwhile, tops this year’s list for renovation projects. Kenan Stadium adds the $70 million Blue Zone in the facility’s east end, a five-story structure with 20 suites, two clubs supporting 2,300 premium seats, and a separate level with 224 loge seats. On a smaller scale, Montana State and Mississippi Valley State, two Football Championship Subdivision schools, have upgraded their stadiums with projects valued at $10 million and $5.5 million, respectively.

FAU STADIUM
HKS

Florida Atlantic University
First game: Oct. 15 vs. Western Kentucky
Cost: $62 million
Architect: HKS; SchenkelShultz
Square footage: 141,538 enclosed
Seats: 30,000
Suites: 24; three years, $32,760 annually; four years, $29,760; five years, $26,760; plus minimum one-time gift of $20,000
Club seats: Priority Club, 4,000 seats; Premier Club, 1,000 seats. Priority Club, one to five years, $346.50 to $385 per seat; Premier Club, one to five years, $1,080 to $1,480 per seat
Loge boxes: 26; 16 with six seats, 10 with four seats; terms are three to five years, $6,707 to $9,560 annually, depending on commitment and number of seats, plus minimum annual gift of $2,500
Destinations: 8,000-square-foot, air-conditioned club; covered, 17,400-square-foot outdoor club between the two club seat sections
Signature element: Tropical theme, tiki huts and palm trees

APOGEE STADIUM
HKS

University of North Texas
First game: Sept. 10 vs. Houston
Cost: $79 million
Architect: HKS
Square footage: 131,729 enclosed
Seats: 29,000
Suites: 21; $20,000 annually with five-year commitment, plus minimum six-figure gift
Club seats: 754; one-time gift of $3,125 to $12,500 per club seat paid over five years, minimum $500 annual donation, plus cost of $350 season tickets
Destinations: 12,000-square-foot club lounge, Touchdown Terrace, team store, Junior Mean Green Fun Land
Signature element: Three 100-kilowatt wind turbines outside the stadium. The structures, 120 feet tall with 30-foot-long blades, should produce one-third of the stadium’s annual 2 million kilowatts usage.

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