Univ. of Texas officials are "moving forward on a south end zone expansion of Royal-Memorial Stadium, putting a projected cost" of $140M on a project that is "still in the infancy stage," according to Brian Davis of the AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN. Construction "begins with the demolition of the current south end zone score board, long known as 'Godzillatron.'" When it was erected, it was the "largest video board in the world." It cost $8M to build in '06. Prior to the '17 season, the "entire video board was replaced." The project will "call for exclusive suites, clubs, an open-air concourse and restrooms." Expansion would also "include a banquet kitchen, premium and student seating, private game-day parking and an area solely for Longhorn Network." UT football coach Tom Herman has "indicated his staff would like to be able to see the field from the coaching offices, mostly as a way to dazzle recruits." UT will "issue formal requests for proposals on May 16 to a short-list of firms under consideration," and those proposals are "due back to UT by May 29." An execution agreement is "projected to be completed by late June." It is "possible that construction could begin" in '19, and that the project "would be completed" by mid-'21 (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 4/14). In Houston, Nick Moyle noted this development is "part of the Texas Athletics Master Plan" published in '16. Though new Texas AD Chris Del Conte was "not part of that planning, he declared 'addressing our facility landscape' as one of his foremost priorities during a January meeting" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 4/14).
Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso "will get a multimillion-dollar upgrade to bring it in line with current standards," as UTEP has announced a $10-15M, 16-month project to "install luxury boxes in a new press facility, renovate the concourses and add premium seating on the west side of the stadium," according to Bret Bloomquist of the EL PASO TIMES. Sponsored by local credit union GECU, the concourse enhancement will be "done before the Sept. 1" football opener against Northern Arizona, while the GECU Terrace -- the name for the new press box facility -- and loge, or private box, and party areas "will be completed in time" for the '19 season opener. UTEP AD Jim Senter said that the money will come "primarily from private donations," and the stadium could generate as much as $1M in additional revenue by the middle of the next decade. The stadium project has "been No. 1 on UTEP's wish list and has been worked on since the Foster Stevens Center opened nine years ago." Senter said that during next football season, visible construction "will be suspended ... followed by nine months of construction" immediately following this year's Sun Bowl. The upgrade will include "between 600 and 900 club seats," and individual loge boxes will seat "anywhere from four to eight and will be reconfigurable, and will include minifridges, televisions and waiter service." Additional revenue generated by the loge boxes will be "used to eliminate any debt incurred and to pay for upkeep of the stadium," and there will not be "increases in student fees or tuition" (EL PASO TIMES, 4/14).