Stadium News: Renovations, New Builds, Conference Realignment

Keep up-to-date with for all college football stadium renovation and construction news.

Stadium renovations

Reser Stadium (Oregon State)

Reser Stadium’s $162-million renovation is expected to be completed in June, per Oregon State Athletic Director Scott Barnes. The renovation revamps seating and adds a new student welcome center to the venue. Per Barnes, Reser Stadium will offer the, “closest proximity to the playing field of any college football stadium in the country.”

Demolition of the old stands began after the 2021 football season.

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Cajun Field (Louisiana)

Start remembering a new name for Cajun Field, which is to be named Lady Of Our Lourdes Stadium. Louisiana Athletics Director Bryan Maggard announced the first major renovation to the stadium since it was built in 1971. Included in the renovation:

  • New west tower with club seats, club level, loge boxes, and new press box
  • New lighting
  • Revamped sound system
  • Renovated west side seating
  • New east side façade
  • Office spaces

A $15 million donation over 15 years kickstarted the project. However, a January development revealed the stadium upgrades will not begin in 2023.

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Boone Pickens Stadium (Oklahoma State)

Initially reported in March 2022, Oklahoma State announced a $55 million renovation to the seating bowl of Boone Pickens Stadium. This renovation will be a multi-year process, happening each offseason as to not interfere with the Pokes’ football seasons. According to the release, construction will begin on the north side of the stadium this offseason.

The new seats will increase legroom by six inches and new isles will be built to reduce the number of seats between isles. All benches will be replaced to contoured benches while “several sections” will replace benches with chair backs.

New LED lighting will be introduced to entryways and concourses.

There is no word yet on how this will affect Boone Pickens Stadium’s 60,000 existing capacity. From the verbiage, it’s possible this will reduce the number of seats in the stadium.

Nebraska Memorial Stadium (Nebraska)

The Lincoln Journal Star reported at the end of October that Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium was in need of renovations. According to Nebraska Athletic Director Trev Alberts, the renovation project would be focused on modernizing and preserving the stadium for “the next 50 to 100 years of Memorial Stadium.”

A timeline, renderings, and costs will be released in the coming months. The report mentioned that $200 million could be privately fundraised while the cost could rise to $500 million, “if those funds can be raised,” per NU administrators.

Ross-Ade Stadium (Purdue)

The day before the 2022 College Football season kicked off, Purdue announced Phase-I of a multi-phased plan to update Ross-Ade Stadium and other student athlete facilities. Following the steps of many stadiums this summer, Purdue is adding premium seating to the south end zone. Also included in Phase-I is a new student athlete dining facility.

Construction begins this offseason. A dollar figure was not announced, but the release said the renovation will increase student seating by 5%.

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David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium (Kansas)

Beyond early in the development process, Kansas has begun accepting bids for a design firm to make upgrades to the university– including Kansas Memorial Stadium. A plan approved by KU allotted $350M to the football stadium. That leaves the door open for a massive overhaul or a brand-new facility. The only details on the matter include an “upgraded home” to Kansas football.

The team announced plans to begin a $300M project in September.

Kyle Field (Texas A&M)

Texas A&M announced a plan to install 23 suites into the south end zone of Kyle Field by the start of the 2023 Kyle Field. Construction began immediately following the 2022 season. A total price has not yet been announced.

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Memorial Stadium (Clemson)

Clemson is in the process of updating Memorial Stadium, beginning with a new scoreboard and updates to the concession stands. It’s Phase I of a two-part plan to update the overall stadium an surrounding parking lot. Phase I finished ahead of the 2022 season and Phase II began after the 2022 season.

Early estimates report this product will cost between $60 million and $70 million. The new scoreboard is five times as large as the old one. Famous Howard’s Rock will be moved for the duration of the project, meaning fans won’t be able to see the iconic landmark at Clemson until 2023.

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Jones AT&T Stadium (Texas Tech)

In July 2022, Texas Tech announced a $200M project to close in the south end zone of Jones AT&T Stadium. The project includes a new athletic development center while keeping the iconic throwback double-T logo scoreboard. It will also add new premium seating options to the stadium.

The school will begin construction following the 2022 football season with it being anticipated to be completed in time for the 2024 season. Changes to the capacity of Jones AT&T Stadium were not disclosed in the announcement.

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Neyland Stadium (Tennessee)

Neyland Stadium– which had just finished installing a new scoreboard and some fan suites– announced more improvements in June. Included are adding V-O-L-S letters to the stadium deck, a premium club, improved stadium wi-fi, and more. You can find the full list of details here.

The added improvements also add $100M to the price tag of the total renovation. The total is now estimated to be $288M. The project won’t be completed until 2026.

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Jerry Richardson Stadium (Charlotte)

The current-smallest stadium in the FBS plans to double its 15,314-seating capacity. A $100M project to revamp athletic facilities– including Jerry Richardson Stadium– was announced in May. 

Not much is known about this project, but the timetable for the entire multi-phased plan is “12-15 years.” The football stadium is in Phase-I, meaning it will be prioritized ahead of other facilities. Initially, the capacity will be expanded to over 21,000 before moving to 30,000 in a second phase. Charlotte transitions into the American Athletic Conference beginning July 1, 2023.

Davis Wade Stadium (Mississippi State)

Mississippi State announced plans to build new modern seating options in the upper decks of Davis Wade Stadium. Dubbed “The Balconies,” the project could be finished for the 2023 football season. They are renovations to the existing upper deck and provides a more modern and luxurious option to these otherwise-nosebleed seats.

Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium (Memphis)

The University of Memphis announced major renovations planned for Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. It’s estimated the project could cost between $150-200M, it would not only revamp the stadium experience, but the existing grounds around it.

Currently, Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium sits in a more industrial and rundown part of town. This renovation would make it more fan-friendly.

It will be complete for the 2025 football season, complete with a revamp of the west side of the stadium, a complete overhaul of the east side tower, and new seating options. Parking will be revamped and an official was cited that part of the drive behind the renovation was to incorporate the multi-use of the facility.

The new grounds around the stadium will be called Liberty Park and encourage more fan engagement pre- and post-game.

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Sanford Stadium (Georgia)

Georgia is again renovating the south side of Sanford Stadium, which was given a huge facelift ahead of the 2017 season. This time, the plan to add more premium seating options to the tower and add ADA gates. Currently, there’s eight gates in the planned area, which will expand to 21.

Another purpose of the renovation is to expand the concourses– a much-needed improvement to the stadium. Currently, there is 10′ 6″ of clearance and that will be expanded to 23 feet.

The $68.5M renovation was approved in late May 2022 and will be completed in time for the 2023 season. The second phase– focused on the new tower– will be finished by the 2024 season.

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Falcon Stadium (Air Force)

The largest stadium renovation in the history of the Air Force Academy has been in place for a couple years, beginning in early 2020. The $180M project has already replaced two scoreboards, added ribbon scoreboards, and many other small improvements.

The next phase– and the largest by far– is underway. Upgrades to the press box, stands, away sideline, and a new heritage plaza will be added to the 60-year-old venue. This phase will cost $70M and may take up to 18 months to complete, being targeted to finish ahead of the 2024 season.

Check out the entire phased plan here.

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Gerald J. Ford Stadium (SMU)

A $50 million donation from alumnus Garry Weber kickstarted a $100M renovation project to Gerald J. Ford Stadium. SMU announced the expansion plans on Jan. 21, 2022. The south end zone– which is currently an open grassy hill– will be expanded on and closed in. Per the report, the stadium’s 32,000 capacity will be expanded.

The end zone complex will feature a three-tiered setup with luxury boxes on the third tier. Since 2013, SMU has dedicated over $250M to athletic facilities. You can find the report here.

Ground broke in December, 2022 on the project.

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JSU Stadium (Jacksonville State)

Plans were approved in July 2022 to go forward with an $80M renovation to the Jacksonville State campus, centered around JSU Stadium. The plans include new housing and a food court for student athletes around the stadium (see below).

A new press box, suites, and team offices are also in the plans. The presser quotes Greg Seitz, Jacksonville State director of athletics: “This addition will allow us to build upon one of the best game day experiences in FCS football with a redesigned seating area to include new premium seating.”

Seitz mentioned FCS football since this was before the announcement that JSU would be moving up to Conference USA. You can find the full announcement here.

The planned finish date for this renovation is before the 2023 season kicks off. Notably, the Gamecocks are scheduled to join the FBS ranks on July 1, 2023.

FirstBank Stadium (Vanderbilt)

Vanderbilt announced its largest stadium renovation in 40 years. The renovation to both end zones was originally announced in March, but renderings were revealed in November 2021. Naming rights changed the stadium name from “Vanderbilt Stadium” to “First Bank Stadium” ahead of the 2022 season.

With the renovation comes new locker rooms in both end zones, a completely revamped look to the current horseshoe, and new seating options for fans. Among the new seating options are 28 luxury boxes designed to give fans a “closer feel” to the game.

Renovations are underway with the completion date TBD.

The football stadium is just part of the athletics facilities revamp and complete details can be found here.

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Stadiums in development

New Ryan Field

Chicago Business reporter Danny Eckler reported in late September that Northwestern plans to tear down existing Ryan Field. A new, $800M stadium would take its place with a “slightly different footprint” and will be privately funded. The goal for the stadium is to host concerts and other events.

The idea is to demolish the existing Ryan Field after the 2023 football season, pending approval from the city of Evanston. The new stadium would open in 2026. There is no concrete plan on where Northwestern would play in the interim.

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Unnamed South Florida football stadium

USF announced plans to build a new football stadium in the coming years. Names and dates have not been shared yet. However, a plot of land was recommended to the board for approval.

A report suggested 2027 could be an opening date for this venue.

New Aloha Stadium (Hawaii)

Details on New Aloha Stadium are scant, but it is projected to open for the 2026 football season. Hawaii is a recurring Week 0 participant, but it is not clear if the stadium would be ready in time for an early season start or not.

New Aloha Stadium will have a seating capacity of 35,000, equivalent to Aztec Stadium and tied for seventh-largest in the Mountain West Conference.

The stadium will be a part of the proposed New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District, which carries a $400 million price tag. Local lawmakers approved the budget in June, 2021.

The current 50,000-seat Aloha Stadium– former location of the NFL’s Pro Bowl– is vacant and scheduled for a late-2022 demolition. The Rainbow Warriors are currently playing at a converted high school complex, Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex.