"The Hill," a fairly steep but natural grass feature of Clemson University's Memorial Stadium seating bowl, may soon be modernized to make it more safe.
As reported by The Tiger student newspaper, University Facilities publicly filed a capital project last week, and although the project is in its infancy, the objective would be to create amphitheater-style standing areas in the stadium's east end zone for a better viewing experience while balancing safety and the traditional look of The Hill.
According to NBC affiliate WYFF in Greenville, N.C., The Hill's slope ranges from 30 to 40 degrees, making it hard to stand in one place, and "crowding" tends to occur near the bottom of The Hill. Pregame crowding also occurs when sufficient space is made for the football team to make its traditional run down the hill and onto the field.
Clemson Athletics hopes that if the renovations go through, the Hill will better distribute students and keep them from pinning against one another in certain areas.
The initial drawings filed on March 28 detail an overall decrease in the slope of The Hill, except where the players and coaches run down in the center, The Tiger reported. That section would receive new sod but otherwise remain untouched. If fans wish to stand in the middle of the Hill after the players and coaches take the field, they will still be able to do so based on the initial design.
Alongside the center of The Hill, the drawings show concrete foundations that could be used to retain the sloped grass and add handrails in the future. They also show two 10-foot wide steps at 10-foot descending intervals. If handrails are added, they will be 3 feet tall, based on the initial drawings.
Construction companies have three weeks to bid on the project before the university chooses whether to continue the project and, if so, with whom, Justin Robertson of The Tiger reported. In addition to the proposed changes to the Hill itself, the plans also include a proposed 6-foot tall ornamental fence on the sides of the Hill, further separating it from the surrounding sections of the stadium.