UNC Officials Assessing Plan To Change Kenan Stadium Seating That Would Reduce Capacity
Univ. of North Carolina officials are "evaluating a plan to replace bleacher seating at Kenan Stadium with 34,000 seats with chair backs, a move that would reduce the stadium's capacity" by around 15%, according to Andrew Carter of the Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER. If the plan goes through, the upper and lower levels of the sideline sections would "feature nothing but blue chair back seats." UNC "installed such seats in two lower-level sections before this season." The university has approved a $7M budget for the project, which would be "funded by a UNC Finance and Administration capital project internal loan." UNC has "received seven project proposals from four firms," though AD Bubba Cunningham said that the university "hasn't yet selected a firm." If the plan "comes to fruition, the seating capacity of Kenan Stadium could be reduced by around 10,000." The current capacity is approximately 63,000, and Cunningham said capacity would be reduced to the "low- to mid-50s." Carter notes the "most aggressive timeline would have the new seats installed in time" for the '18 season. Cunningham said that the deadline to "finalize plans for the project so it could be completed in time for next season is mid-to-late January." The seats with chair backs would go "only in the sideline sections of the stadium." The bleacher seating in the student section "would remain the same" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 11/17).
EXTREME MAKEOVER: In Phoenix, Anne Ryman reports the Univ. of Arizona "got the go-ahead" on Thursday to spend $66M to "renovate the football stadium, build an indoor practice facility and improve the aquatic center." A mandatory student athletic fee will "fund the majority of the improvements over the next two years." Of the total, $25M is "earmarked to renovate portions of the stadium." Improvements will "focus on the east side and include renovations to the student seating section and adding more restrooms and concessions." Construction will "take place in the offseason, with everything completed" by August '19 (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 11/17).