The University of Alabama has revised its redevelopment plan for Bryant-Denny Stadium by making changes that will ensure the venue’s capacity will not drop below 100,000.
The University first unveiled major redevelopment plans for its sports stadia in August 2018 as part of a $600m (£472.1m/€532.4m) 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 first phase of the project will tackle Bryant-Denny Stadium, which with its capacity of 101,821 is the seventh-largest college stadium in the US. Under the original vision, the installation of a large video board in the south end zone of the stadium would have dropped its capacity below 100,000. However, this was among a number of changes spelled out at a meeting of the University’s board of trustees physical properties committee yesterday (Thursday).
Granting its approval for the $111.6m first phase that will include $92.5m dedicated to Bryant-Denny Stadium, AL.com has reported that the single video board, as well as a student terrace originally planned for the south end zone upper deck, have been replaced.
Instead of the terrace, Alabama believes it will set a first for college sport facilities with the introduction of a 10,000-square foot social area for students in the concourse below the student seating in the southwest corner of the stadium. This area will include phone charging stations, concessions and televisions, as well as fans for cooling off spectators that have been in the seating bowl.
Instead of the single large video board in the south end zone, Alabama will now replace the current corner screens, adding new screens that will be 60% larger than the originals. Crucially, Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne said the changes mean the capacity of the stadium will now only drop by a few hundred seats and remain above 100,000.
A bidding process will be launched in August for construction companies, with work on the project expected to commence following the 2019 season.
Image: University of Alabama