Cashing in: Ranked Jayhawks plan $300M facelift
12: 49 PM ET
The University of Kansas announced plans Friday for long-awaited renovations to Memorial Stadium, the Anderson Family Football Complex and other facilities along with potential conference, entertainment and retail spaces. The school has long been looking for ways to renovate the stadium, which is one of the oldest in college football. However, support has been low as the Jayhawks have struggled year after year with losing seasons. The few improvements that have been made to the stadium have been mostly cosmetic and left the concrete bowl virtually untouched.
The No. 5-0 start to the season has given life and energy to the fans. 19 Jayhawks, the school decided it was time to make public the behind-the-scenes discussions that have been taking place for the past several months.
” This project is unique in its vision to benefit a wide range of KU constituents and signal a new era in Kansas football,” Travis Goff, Jayhawks athletic director, said. “Once completed, this project will ensure that our football program has the facilities it requires to compete at the highest level. It will also provide the best game-day experience possible for student-athletes as well as fans. We are also thrilled that this project benefits the entire university as well as the region. “
The Jayhawks take on No. 17 TCU on Saturday in a showdown of unbeatens. It is the school’s third consecutive sellout. ESPN will be bringing its popular College GameDay program to campus, for the first time.
This project is a moment in college sports history when the appeal of schools during conference realignment — even at Kansas — has been almost entirely determined by football. HNTB has been chosen as the project’s lead architect by
Kansas. The project will begin in the early part of next year with renovations to football complex. These are intended to improve student-athlete experience and attract potential recruits. They also include groundwork for a larger renovation to the stadium.
The project, which is expected to cost more than $300 million, will be funded primarily through private donations, economic development funds, premium seating sales and future development opportunities on site.
“The intersection near 11th and Mississippi streets is a primary campus entrance for prospective students, alumni and guests,” Kansas Chancellor Douglas Girod said. It’s the perfect location to build a new gateway with multiuse facilities to better serve these audiences and generate revenue for academic programming. This will also help to reimagine our football facilities. The renovations to Memorial Stadium will likely attract the most attention. The school promises improved sight lines and seating experiences in Memorial Stadium’s lower bowl. This is due to the presence of an athletic track that has since been removed. There will also be improved concourses and premium seating.
The exact renderings of the stadium are to be revealed after the school and partner Elevate Sports Ventures conduct fan focus group discussions and solicit feedback from influential donors about what they want in a football facility.
” College athletics and sustained success in football are essential to the health and vibrancy our university community,” Goff stated. “Donors and partners who believe in KU’s mission are excited about this project. In partnership with KU Endowment we will be reaching out to our benefactors to make this vision a reality. “
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