Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, has announced it will expand the capacity Williams Stadium, which hosts games played by the college’s American football team.

The venue, which is set to reopen in 2019, will grow from a 19,000 to a 25,000-seat stadium to accommodate its step up into the former Division I-A, the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).

The programme has recently transitioned from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), the former Division I-AA, to the FBS, after receiving permission earlier this year from the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA).

The difference is that FBS conducts bowl-style post-season games, whereas the FCS stages a playoff series that makes use of a single elimination process. In addition, a higher authority known as the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) governs the FBS, not the NCAA.

While the financial estimates of the renovation were not revealed, the expansion will also include a new scoreboard, more food options, road improvements and new bus loading areas to ease traffic.

“We are developing a phased expansion and enhancement of Williams Stadium as part of Liberty’s move to the Football Bowl Subdivision including new student-athlete and fan amenities,” said director of athletics Ian McCaw. “We look forward to providing Flames Nation one of the best game day experiences in college football.”

In addition, the plans include new data handling facilities to improve mobile performance at games, camera platforms, and a new gateway entrance feature.

“We are very excited about this upcoming expansion,” said Liberty University president Jerry Falwell. “Our fans are extremely loyal. We appreciate them and are always looking for ways to accommodate them.

“From more seating options to improved traffic flow to better food and a bigger, better scoreboard, we are enhancing the experience for Flames fans and their families. We invite everyone to join us and root for the Flames as we take on some of the top competition in college football – in a greatly improved Williams Stadium.”

Image: Liberty University