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Knoxville News-Sentinel (Tennessee)
A $340 million renovation of Neyland Stadium now includes additional funding for improvements to the south end of the stadium and enhancements of the fan experience, according to an overview of the project slated to be discussed by the University of Tennessee board of trustees this week.
Construction on the first phase of the Neyland renovations is scheduled to start in summer 2018 pending approval from the board and the State Building Commission.
UT Knoxville Athletic Director John Currie will present the updated plans to the board's Athletics Committee at 3 p.m. Thursday in Hollingsworth Auditorium at the UT Institute of Agriculture. The plans will then be considered by the full board Friday.
Project cost would be $340 million
This is the first time a total cost estimate for the project has been made public. The $340 million figure includes a $74 million increase from projected costs for Phase I of the project.
Phase I was originally estimated to cost $106 million but is now estimated at $180 million. The updated plans will include some visual differences, to be presented to the committee Thursday, said Assistant Athletics Director for Media Relations Tom Satkowiak.
The overall cost of the project, however, is $10 million less than was originally projected, according to materials prepared for Thursday's meeting.
That's because the project team has shifted more of the total work into Phase I and chosen to prioritize renovations in the south end of the stadium over less critical work in the west end of the stadium. It has also reduced the work of the project from three phases to two.
Phase II, which includes improvements to the east and northeast concourses, a new entryway in the northeast corner and technology upgrades throughout the stadium, would cost $160 million.
What will Phase I look like?
The "enhanced scope" of Phase I of the project includes the following items, according to an overview included in the materials:
Expansion and renovation of the south concourses of the stadium
Addition of new restrooms along expanded south concourses
Increased number and type of concession stands throughout the south concourses
Build new entry towers/gates and plaza areas in the southwest and southeast corners of the stadium
Improve the stadium exterior to better integrate the stadium into the architectural fabric of the campus
Adjust the south end zone field wall to improve player safety and conform to NCAA guidelines
Build a kitchen and commissary to enable on-site catering and delivery of fresh food
Develop premium spaces such as open-air suites, a field level club and ledge seating to meet market demands and capitalize on underutilized space
Funding for Phase I will come from capital campaigns, athletic department earned operating revenue, partnerships and budgeted debt service.
Following approval from the board of trustees, the project will still need approval from the State Building Commission before construction can begin next summer. If all goes according to plan, Phase I would be "substantially completed" by August 2020 and the complete project would be done by the start of the 2021 football season, the 100th anniversary of the stadium.
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