Alabama seeks to set Crimson Standard with major renovation plan

The University of Alabama has unveiled redevelopment plans for its sports stadia as part of a $600m (£471.8m/€527.2m) capital initiative.

Dubbed ‘The Crimson Standard’, the 10-year scheme is designed to comprehensively elevate the student-athlete experience, recruiting efforts and overall game-day experience for Alabama fans.

The plan has been broken down into three phases. Included in Phase One are several enhancements to Bryant-Denny Stadium (pictured) with the renovation and expansion of multiple seating areas. In addition, renovations will be made to the lobby and American football locker room at the Mal M. Moore Athletic Facility and a new Sports Science Center will be added. Rhoads Stadium and the Jerry Pate Golf Complex are also expected to be upgraded as part of the first phase.

The renovations at Bryant-Denny Stadium, which are set to reduce overall capacity, are set to begin after the 2019 season with a total estimated cost of $288m. The changes include adding 3,826 premium seats, three new club areas and new video boards.

The renovation of Coleman Coliseum will form part of the Phase Two plan. The renovation will maintain the historic look, however the arena will be completely modernised with a brand new interior and a variety of seating options. New women’s basketball and gymnastics team locker rooms will be built on the south side of the arena along with new men’s and women’s basketball offices.

Coleman Coliseum renovations are projected at $115m and could commence after the 2021-22 season. The university said nearly $143m has been committed to date to The Crimson Standard, $1m of which was gifted by Alabama head football coach Nick Saban and his wife at yesterday’s (Thursday’s) press conference.

Greg Byrne, director of athletics at the University of Alabama, said: “We spent the last year and a half looking at our history and analysing where we are currently to help create a vision for the future that enhances Alabama Athletics to improve the student-athlete and the fan experience.

“That vision is what led us to The Crimson Standard: A Capital Initiative for Alabama Athletics. We have a mission to build and maintain a program that achieves academic success and wins championships in all sports by educating and developing the best student-athletes and by supporting and retaining outstanding coaches.

“Our core values also begin with a commitment to the total support of the educational, athletic and personal development of all student-athletes. We have been on the forefront in investing in student-athlete development, academically, in life skills, career development, mental health, safety, nutrition and many other areas.

“That being said, evolution of facilities is critical as we continue to move our program forward to support the levels we expect them to perform at and compete for championships.”

Image: University of Alabama