The University of Alabama has been given the green light to begin work on the first phase of a major redevelopment project for its sports stadia.
Renovation of Bryant-Denny Stadium in phase one forms part of a 10-year, $600m (£457.1m/€509.8m) project dubbed ‘The Crimson Standard’, designed to boost the student-athlete experience, recruiting efforts and overall game-day experience for fans.
Approved by the Alabama board of trustees, initial work on the 101,821-capacity stadium will begin after the 2019 collegiate American football season. A budget of $75.5m will partially be funded by $40.5m in bonds.
The project will mean lowering the capacity to just under 100,000, with a giant video board to replace a section of bleacher seating.
The five per cent of fans impacted by the work will be offered “first, second and third choices” as part of their relocation, according to the university’s athletics director, Greg Byrne.
This relocation could also be helped by a proposal to lower the amount of tickets given to visiting fans, thus enabling Alabama supporters to have greater choice.
Byrne also confirmed there is still a waiting list for tickets at the venue and the work would enable the university to move more fans into seats, as well as boost experience at the stadium.
“There still is a waiting list; it’s a fluid list and we were able to move people into season tickets off the waiting list this year and we’ll be able to do that more in the future as well,” Byrne said, according to AL.com.
“The experience of about 90 per cent of our fan base have who are in the general seating who were using the restrooms and concessions, it’s not a very good experience for them at times.”
In reference to the wider project, Byrne said that the university has so far raised $158m of the funds for the $600m initiative.
Image: University of Alabama