The long-term future of Vanderbilt Stadium will have to be considered by Vanderbilt University, with even potential renovations likely years away.
There have been questions regarding what Vanderbilt will decide about the future of its aging on-campus football facility. Much of the current Vanderbilt Stadium dates to 1981—when the last major update was completed—but the site has been used for Commodores football since 1922.
For right now, it appears that the football program will continue to call Vanderbilt Stadium its home for the foreseeable future. In recent remarks, Vanderbilt athletic director David Williams seemed to suggest that the university is taking a wait and see approach when it comes to any long-term Vanderbilt Stadium plans. A renovation could be an option, though any long-term decision is likely still a few years away. More from The Knoxville News-Sentinel:
Vandy athletic director David Williams said he foresees Vanderbilt Stadium remaining the team’s home into the future. The stadium opened in 1922 and last underwent a major renovation in 1981.
“I don’t think you would see us ever tearing the stadium down and building from new,” Williams said. “So if the (reality) is that we will remain in that stadium, (the question) will be: How do you renovate that stadium?”
Even a potential renovation is a few years off, Williams said.
“At some point in time, it will be unavoidable that we’ll have to make a decision long-term, and I would say that decision is probably two to three years away,” said Williams, the school’s AD since 2003. “And so right now, I think what we’ll try to do is we’ll try to maintain our stadium and improve it as much as we can, recognizing that we don’t know what the long-term plan is, and we just have to kind of wait and see and kind of deal with it.”
Throughout much of 2017, there was speculation about whether Vanderbilt would move its football program into a proposed stadium at The Fairgrounds Nashville that was being pitched for an MLS expansion franchise. However, last September the university announced that it would pass on moving the football program into the proposed stadium on a full-time basis, though it left the door open for using the venue for occasional events. MLS granted approval to Nashville’s bid for an expansion franchise in December, and planning for the club’s stadium continues.
Image courtesy Vanderbilt University athletics.