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Texas Tech seeks to set college football benchmark with stadium renovation

Texas Tech University has revealed plans for a $200m (£167.7m/€198.8m) renovation project for Jones AT&T Stadium, part of efforts to create one of the finest facilities in US college football.

The largest investment into the Red Raider football program to date will focus on the construction of a new south end zone building to Jones AT&T Stadium, which will connect to the new Dustin R. Womble Football Center training facility, plans for which were announced in October.

Texas Tech said the project will be largely funded through private fundraising and annual athletics department revenue streams, primarily from the sale of new premium inventory. Pending approval from the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents at its meeting on August 11-12, the project is slated for groundbreaking immediately following the 2022 football season in anticipation of opening prior to the 2024 campaign.

Global design firm Populous, which was previously instrumental in the development of the Dustin R. Womble Basketball Center, has been engaged to help develop a long-term plan for the south end zone and Womble Football Center projects.

With a current capacity of 60,454, Jones AT&T Stadium first opened in 1947 and has since undergone multiple renovation and expansion projects. The new venture aims to completely revitalise the south end zone, not only from a student-athlete amenities and development standpoint but by preserving one of Texas Tech’s most historic landmarks, the Double T scoreboard.

Under the current plans, Texas Tech will debut a new Double T scoreboard atop a new four-story building that will enclose Jones AT&T Stadium. The newly-constructed facilities will include over 300,000 combined square feet and seek to blend world-class modern design and technology elements with the Spanish architecture style of the stadium.

Fans will be able to enter the stadium through a new gate in the south end zone that will feature additional concession points of sale, an expanded concourse and ground level sight lines to the field that Texas Tech claims will be unique to college football.

The facility will have four floors with home and visiting locker rooms on field level accompanying a 7,200 square-foot club area that will welcome the Red Raiders onto the field.

The main concourse and loge boxes will occupy the second level, with coaches and staff offices on floor three and additional premium suite options on the top level. Texas Tech currently expects to generate significant revenue annually in premium seating once the south end zone project is completed.

The stadium and training complex will be connected by a skybridge. Between the south end zone project and the Womble Football Center, the two facilities will contain space for both recruiting and players’ lounges, a new player locker room, a television studio for gameday and social media content, as well as a significant investment into technology through digital signage and displays. 

“This is a historic day as we announce our intentions to construct what will be the premier football facility in the Big 12 Conference and nationally,” said Texas Tech director of athletics, Kirby Hocutt.

“This facility, when completed, will not take a backseat to any other school in the country. We have received tremendous interest from many of our supporters regarding this project and anticipate that continuing as we get closer to officially breaking ground.

“Our intent is to be the top athletics department in the country. As we look into the long-term future of college athletics, this project will set the stage for what we anticipate as decades of success on the gridiron for our Red Raiders. This will take all of us.

“There’s not a more passionate fan base in the country than Red Raider Nation, so we encourage all our alumni and supporters to contribute to this project and, as always, be a proud member of the Red Raider Club.”

The project is being overseen by the Red Raider Facilities Foundation Inc. (RRFFI), which launched in December as a separate entity established to provide new and innovative ways to deliver first-class athletic facilities.

Images: Texas Tech