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Design & Development

University of Florida to redevelop The Swamp

Featured image credit: Pablo Corredor/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size

The athletics department at the University of Florida has detailed plans for a major renovation of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, commonly known as The Swamp.

The University Athletic Association is preparing to select an architect to begin the design phase for the reimagined stadium, which was built in 1930. It will be the largest facility project in the history of the athletics department, with an estimated cost of around $400m (£315m/€367m).

The architectural team will deliver the specifics, with the wider project to touch “every phase” of the fan experience. The university plans on upgrading concourses, entry gates, seating, concessions and restrooms, while the stadium’s video board and sound system will also be improved.

The Swamp is home to the Gators, the university’s American football team, and has a capacity of 88,548. The financial model for the renovation will be similar to previous Gator facility projects, with an “aggressive” fundraising campaign to anchor the funding efforts.

The search for the next architect starts with a formal selection process coordinated with UF Campus Planning, Design and Construction Office, and will begin this month. The architectural team will also develop planning strategy and phasing components of the project.

Athletics director Scott Stricklin said: “We’ve conducted a number of studies over the last five-plus years about what the future could look like for Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. We’ve engaged with vendors that specialise in iconic venues and stadium experience for both fans and players while offering a variety of solutions. It is now time to take that information and engage with an architect who can present renovation, construction and phasing options for The Swamp.”

He added: “There are many questions that come with a project of this scope, but it would be premature to speculate on the answer to many of those, including but not limited to final costs, seating capacity and specific timeline. We look forward to working along with an architect that will start providing options on what those answers could look like and allow us to continue to host college football’s biggest and best fans in The Swamp.”