The University of Kentucky has unveiled its designs for the $110 million renovation of Commonwealth Stadium, which will result in new premium seating options and areas rentable on non game days. Governor Steve Beshear said:
This stadium upgrade will ensure the continued financial success of UK football – an integral part to a truly self-sustaining athletics programme that also funds millions of dollars to the university’s academic programming. I am proud to have supported the agency bond legislation that is making this renovation possible and I congratulate UK’s officials and leaders for taking this visionary action.
Gerardo Prado, Principal at HNTB, is overseeing the architectural designs. The majority of the construction will occur after the 2014 season.
The university said that the stadium design will have a Kentucky feel, using resources such as Kentucky limestone and reclaimed barn wood. There will be a new decorative exterior and landscaping around the stadium and parking areas. Inside the facility, the stadium concourses will be widened and new restrooms and concession stands will be constructed.
In the 61,000 capacity bowl, there will be new premium seating options on the south side, including clubs at the field level and mezzanine level plus new loge boxes. A new training table for student-athletes will be housed in the hospitality areas. The hospitality areas also will be available to the Big Blue Nation as rentable spaces for special events outside of game days.
A sideline suite level will be constructed atop the south stands and will contain approximately 20 luxury suites. A press box will be above the suite level with areas for media seating, television and radio broadcasts and additional VIP seating.
Improvements for athletes will include new game-day locker room, training room and multi-purpose recruiting room in the east end zone. On game day, the Wildcats will run on the field from under the east end zone seating area which will be the new student seating section.