Tennessee offers updated plans for Neyland Stadium renovation
Tennessee's renovation to Neyland Stadium will be carried out in phases through 2023, the university announced Friday.
The university's Board of Trustees approved the project in November 2017. Phillip Fulmer hit pause on the project after becoming athletic director later that year so he could review the project's plans and scope.
The renovation will remain within the $180 million budget previously approved by the board. The project will not use state state funds or subsidies.
Additionally, UT announced plans to improve the Anderson Training Center. That project is in the design stage. Plans call for a new players' lounge and a recovery area, plus a renovation of the football practice locker room.
Goals of the Neyland Stadium renovation include:
- Building new entry plazas on the southwest and southeast sides of the stadium
- Expanding the main south concourse
- Upgrading restrooms
- Increasing the number of concession stands on the south side of the stadium
- Developing an on-site kitchen to enable catering for designated spots in the stadium
- Creating seating alternatives and gathering spaces
- Upgrading stadium technology
"I appreciate the patience of our fans and donors as we've worked through a very thorough review of our plans to start preparing Neyland Stadium for its next 100 years of service," Fulmer said in a news release.
"I'm very pleased about where we've landed. It was important to me that the earliest work of the upcoming renovations focused on areas that impacted the fan experience for everyone in the stadium."
Stadium improvements began this year with a new LED ribbon board that goes around the stadium. Also, the more than 15,000 ticket holders who use cushioned seats had their seats replaced.
The stadium's sound system will be upgraded before the 2020 season.
For 2021, upgrades include a renovation of the Lauricella Center for Letter Winners, which is located at field level on the northwest side of the stadium. Additionally, the Wolf-Kaplan Hospitality Center, which is located under the north stands near the locker room, will be upgraded. And the fifth-level media facilities on the stadium's west side will be converted into an open-air donor lounge. Press facilities will be located to the stadium's east side, although television and radio crews will remain on the west side.
By 2022, south concourse renovations should be complete, along with the addition of a north-side video board and a reconstruction of the lower west-side seating deck.
Substantial renovations are slated to conclude in 2023 with the unveiling of fan plazas at Gates 4 and 10. The plaza at Gate 10 will feature an indoor/outdoor gathering and amenity area, serving select food and beverages.
"With a solid road map in place for Neyland Stadium and our football program," Fulmer said, "we must now turn our attention to developing a facility master plan that is comprehensive of all athletic facilities and develop a course of action to ensure that all of our more than 500 student-athletes have what they need to compete at the highest level."
Blake Toppmeyer covers University of Tennessee football. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @btoppmeyer. If you enjoy Blake’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that will allow you access to all of it.