Sometimes enhancing the look of your facility is as easy as applying a fresh coat of paint — or something like that.
The University of Louisville announced plans to restore 37,800 lower bowl seats in Cardinal Stadium to their original bright red color — and though no new paint will be applied, it may appear that way to fans who’ve grown used to badly faded seats that look more pink than red.
“That’s probably No. 1 in terms of projects and improvements,” Louisville AD Vince Tyra told WDRB. “And when we didn’t include it in the stadium expansion project, that just excited the issue even further. But we found a way to resolve the issue. Pink seats are probably the biggest thing I hear about, and today we got approval to move forward.”
The seats in the lower bowl won’t be replaced. Instead, according to WDRB, they will be restored via a process similar to one used by the U.S. Navy when restoring destroyer guns and other equipment.
A company will pressure wash the seats, sand them, open up pores within the plastic with a blow torch, and apply a protective coating to slow fading within the future — and do it all at a cost that’s reportedly $5 million less than what it would cost to replace them.
“Replacement cost is significant, and we have other projects we’d like to get on, as we noted with volleyball and golf and other facilities,” Tyra told WDRB. “So this was a way to get those done and the seats done … we figured out a process where you could break down those seats and actually open up the pores of the plastic and then restore it, and not only restore it but make it stronger.”
The school tested the process on a number of seats last winter. Once restored, the seats are expected to be good for about 10 years.