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Expansion For Jones AT&T Stadium


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New $45 Million plan will add to the list of completed renovations that has seen Jones stadium completely re-modeled with upgraded infrastructure, West side Stadium Building, and Football Training Center ($120M), bringing the stadium to a total 75 Luxury Suites and approximate capacity of 65,000.

Tech raises bar for stadium's expansion plans



The Texas Tech football team is a step closer to playing on top-of-the-line turf, with more people to see them do it.

A subcommittee of the university's governing board approved a $2.5 million project that includes new FieldTurf at the football stadium this summer, and was supportive of a plan from athletic director Gerald Myers proposing an additional 10,000 seats, an upper deck and more luxury and club seating at Jones AT&T Stadium by 2010.

"We think with the growth of our football team, and the popularity of our team, we can justify these seats," Myers said.

Myers' proposal to the facilities committee of the board of regents Friday morning was more ambitious than previous expansion plans he has pushed for months.

Regents heard in October a proposal for a parking garage and luxury boxes on the east side of the football stadium that would help fund a facade matching the stadium's west side.

That project's estimated cost was $22 million. In Friday's presentation, Myers added an upper deck seating 5,600 fans and two sections of seating straddling the northern scoreboard for 4,600 fans.

The plan would also remove five rows of bleachers to add 300 club seats in front of 19 or 20 luxury suites, said Mike Ellicott, vice chancellor for facilities planning and construction.

The new price tag is an estimated $45 million, he said. A more than 1,000-car parking garage could be open for the 2007 season, and the upper deck should be finished for 2009, if approved, Ellicott said.

Regents could take no action on the report Friday, but were supportive of the plan.

"I think this is an example of the evolution of a project that improves with each iteration," committee chairman Bob Black said.

The committee also approved removing Astroturf from the stadium and replacing it with a higher-grade artificial turf.

The guarantee on the current turf has expired, and the better material would help attract top talent, Myers said.

"Our field is not in bad shape, but it is a recruiting issue and (coach) Mike (Leach) has wanted to do this for a couple of years," Myers said.

A $2 million women's soccer complex was also approved. The current field, in the center of the Robert P. Fuller Track, does not meet NCAA regulations.

Myers proposed a new field with covered bleachers for the team and spectator seating west of the Health Sciences Center, near recreation fields. Moving the soccer field would also allow for improvements to Tech's track, he said.

Facilities for field events could be upgraded if the soccer team is moved out from the center of the track, he said.

"You can't do a lot of things on that infield because the soccer team takes priority," Myers said. "It will improve facilities for both programs."

All of the projects would be paid for with donations. Pledges would cover the new turf, but the school is still looking for donations for the soccer and stadium projects, Myers said.

Only three regents serve on the facilities committee. Projects approved by the committee must still be approved by the full board.


Edited by mrfootball
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With all these improvements it's strange that the higher ups want to get rid of a home game and move the A&M-tech game to Dallas.

Agreed. It's not really favored by the fans of either school. The money must be too good to turn down. For what its worth, though what I've heard is that they're going to try it for 2 years...with an option to continue.

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Looks like my other Alma Mater is doing some upgrades as well...The Big 12 South is freaking booming with construction.

$149.9 million expansion of UT stadium planned

Price tag for hotel-conference center rises 44 percent, to $120.9 million.

By Ralph K.M. Haurwitz


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

University of Texas System regents on Thursday are expected to approve spending nearly $150 million to remodel and expand Royal-Memorial Stadium.

The project, scheduled to be completed in August 2008, would boost seating capacity for football games to more than 90,000.

The regents also are expected to authorize construction of a $120.9 million hotel and conference center at the southern edge of campus. That is nearly $37 million more than previous estimates, an increase caused partly by the need to build underground parking to avoid condemning a restaurant that has operated adjacent to the site for more than 20 years.

The stadium expansion, which focuses on the north end zone, has been under discussion for some time, but officials have not disclosed a price tag until now. The $149.9 million cost includes $15 million approved by the regents in November for renovating and expanding the west side of the stadium, work that is under way.

"We had exceptional demand before we won the national championship. I think because of winning the national championship, sales of the inventory of new seating will probably go even faster than we anticipated," said Patti Ohlendorf, UT-Austin's vice president for institutional relations and legal affairs.

The expansion would make Royal-Memorial one of the nation's largest college football stadiums but not one of the true giants. The University of Michigan's stadium has a capacity of 107,501, and Penn State's seats 107,282.

A committee of regents will meet in Austin today to consider the stadium and hotel-conference center projects, with the full Board of Regents scheduled to take action Thursday. UT System Chancellor Mark Yudof and his top aides have recommended approval.

The stadium proposal calls for replacing the existing north end zone structure. Besides increasing the seating capacity, currently 80,082, the project would add offices for the cheerleading program, production TV crew members, ticketing, patron services, the Longhorn Foundation, athletics officials and academic advising. Also, sprinklers would be added to interior portions of the stadium that lack such fire controls.

"There will also be some gymnasiums in the basement for academic use, classes and that type of thing," Ohlendorf said. "And there will be a portion

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Texas Higher Education Funding is archaic and needs a major overhaul, California certainly does have the edge on us with regard to Higher Education funding.

As it is now...

- UT System and A&M System share the Permanent University Fund (PUF: 2/3 UT - 1/3 A&M)

- Tech, UH, UNT, Texas State, etc. (including some UT & A&M system schools) share the HEAF which will become the Permanent Higher Education Fund (PHEF) once it reaches $2 Billion.

Currently, and I think this makes perfect sense, Texas Tech (and I imagine UH) are lobbying to make sure the PHEF is allowed to continue to grow past $2 Billion (through re-investment), just as the PUF is allowed to gain value. The current plan is to cap the fund at $2 Billion which doesn't make much sense, considering that the PHEF schools are growing so quickly, faster than the PUF schools enrollment.

When you consider that Texas' population is now over 24,000,000 souls, and is projected to hit 36,000,000 within the next 20 years...it's apparent we need to ensure there are more Flagship institutions for our children. California has 9. Texas has 2 (with Tech and UH on the cusp).

With all of this said...I'm pretty certain it is illegal for PUF funds to fund athletic facilities, as no public funds are used to fund athletic depts. in Texas. (Though it is rumoured that visionary UT President Frank Erwin had the expansive Upper Deck put on Memorial Stadium calling it a "roof" for Belmont Hall using PUF funds...a loophole that was closed shortly thereafter).

Edited by mrfootball
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The plan I have seen envisions Tech and UH as the next two flagships.

I think so. But when you are over-funded in so many other areas, sports can only benefit by default.

Yeah, that "Tier One" plan has only been discussed for what, the last 3 or 4 legislative sessions...going back at least 8 years?

I think UH has recieved about $6 million in that time in "Excellence Funding".

Last numbers I saw on the PUF was that UT-Austin was recieving around $100 million PER YEAR from the PUF. EVERY YEAR!

The state legislature earmarked something like $18 million for UH and Texas Tech "Excellence Funding" a few years back...Governor Perry vetoed it, then turned around and gave $50 million in discretionary funding to UT-Arlington for some Radio Shack technology partnership.

One thing I've noticed is that UH is the alma mater of a lot of candidates. It seems that almost every local candidate has attended UH for undergrad or for Law School. Our situation will be helped by better representation in the State Leg.

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