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Volume 24 No. 117
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IMG Intercollegiate Athletics Forum: Renovating Venues Preferred To New Structures

Taking an old building and making it appear young is the preferred means for stadium upgrades at the collegiate level, as colleges hope to maintain a visual aesthetic with surrounding buildings. Cisco Sports & Entertainment Dir of Business Development Gene Arantowicz said, “We’ve been seeing more colleges opting to renovate instead of build new. They want to maintain the history and mystique.” Heery Int'l VP & Dir of Sports Facilities Mike Holleman said college venues are also experimenting with revenue-generating infrastructure outside of the stadium, which also has a positive affect on the game structure. The Univ. of South Carolina built an area designated for tailgating as a way to charge premium prices to fans and cordon off tailgaters into a safe area. Rose Bowl Operating Company CEO & GM Darryl Dunn, whose venue is undergoing a $150M renovation, said the project is needed to maintain the stadium’s relevance in the market, as an NFL stadium will likely be built in L.A. eventually. Dunn said the Rose Bowl currently survives off of about 140 small events that generate $10,000 to $20,000 each. “The nickels and dimes pay off,” Dunn said. He added that getting a major renovation project approved for the publicly owned Rose Bowl required eight years of meetings and approvals, and he had advice for anyone attempting a similar project: “You have to have champions for each segment. You need to have people who are willing to walk uphill and take bullets.”