Work has begun on the Champions Club addition to Doak Campbell Stadium, a state-of-the art space that will provide new premium and private seating options, improved concourses, and upgraded video and game day production features.
Some of the work on the Champions Club actually began before the 2015 season, but it was focused mostly on access—such as new elevators and ramps—rather than aesthetics and amenities. With the finer points of the project out of the way, crews can now start overhauling this section of the 65-year-old facility.
One of the centerpieces of the Champions Club is a 70,000 square foot indoor, climate-controlled club level. From this space, fans will be able to access concessions and other amenities without losing sight of the action, as the area will be enclosed by glass. This will also help the Seminoles make Doak Campbell Stadium a year-round destination, as the interior concourse will be available for non-game day events.
Another central component of the Champions Club is a brand-new concourse. The 34,000-square-foot space will be completely covered, and include a unique premium seating option in the form of private cabanas.
On the production side, the interior concourse will be lined with HDTVs and feature improved WiFi access. The Champions Club will also bring about the replacement of the south end’s current bleachers with more than 5,000 cushioned stadium seats. That improvement will actually lead to a reduction in Doak Campbell Stadium’s capacity by about 3,000 to 4,000 seats.
As we noted in March, the projected cost of the Champions Club project is $79.5 million, but the university has taken out $85 million in bonds to cover possible overruns. Tallahasse.com explained that the Seminoles see the Champions Club as a potential revenue source for future improvements:
Approximately 2,410 seats have been sold to the Champions Club, according to Jerry Kutz, senior vice president of Capital Campaigns and Projects for Seminole Boosters, Inc.
“After hearing about the project over the past couple of years, it’s really exciting for Seminole fans to see the construction begin,” Kutz said.
“Every week they’ll see the picture come into focus and realize what began as an idea is rapidly becoming a reality.”
Revenue generated by the Club will help pay for additional improvements to the stadium, Kutz said.
Those improvements will include the bathrooms, which will be painted and feature new mirrors, seats, and fixtures.
Access to the Champions Club will not come cheaply. The current tab for a season ticket is a $1,500 donation—which could be made over 12 months.
Some other upgrades, including new paint and sand blasting on the stadium’s east and west ends, has already begun, but the Seminoles are hoping that the Champions Club will ultimately provide funding to more extensive stadium upgrades in the future. Doak Campbell Stadium’s last major renovation came in the 1990’s, when the stadium was expanded to accommodate 80,000 fans and given a new brick exterior.
The Champions Club is part of a larger $250 million effort known as the Champions Campaign, which has already led to the construction of a new indoor training facility and Champions Hall, a new student housing facility.
Renderings courtesy Florida State University.