The U.S. Air Force Academy Foundation and the Air Force Academy Athletic Corporation have announced a proposed multi-phase renovation project that aims to transform Falcon Stadium into a state-of-the-art, world-class venue.
First opened in 1962 as the home field of the Air Force Falcons American football team, the stadium, located near Colorado Springs, has a current capacity of around 46,700 and has been through a two-phase renovation.
The first phase of this delivered two new scoreboards, including the largest video board in the Mountain West Conference; and an upgraded sound system, the Blue and Silver Club; and ribbon boards in each end zone.
Phase two involved home and auxiliary locker room expansion; media centre upgrades; medical services area improvements; restroom facility upgrades; and a VIP green room addition.
The investment required for the initial phase of the latest scheme will total $70m (£50.5m/€59.2m), with philanthropic support from the Air Force Academy Foundation providing $35m as part of the campaign and the remaining half financed by Athletic Corporation revenue.
The current phase is part of a multi-phase masterplan to upgrade and transform Falcon Stadium and will total about $180m when finished.
With most of the initial upgrades coming on the east side of the stadium, the proposed plans include a new stadium entrance, an updated event space, relocation of the cadet section and a heritage plaza. Improved seating, concessions areas, restrooms and merchandise space will seek to offer fans a more modern and comfortable feel as they take in an event.
“We need to continue to invest and improve our fan experience in Falcon Stadium,” said Nate Pine, Air Force Academy director of athletics. “There is a lot of competition out there for entertainment dollars, and there is a lot of expectation in our fan base in what they’re seeing in other venues, so we need to make sure we continue to be relevant from an experiential standpoint every bit as much as we want to be competitive and win games on the field.
“I think the enhancements make it more attractive for a myriad of events. It hosts Falcon football and Falcon lacrosse in our sporting teams, but with graduation every year, and being visited by the president of the United States every four, it’s a big-time venue.”