In what is perhaps the centerpiece of a broader facilities initiative, the University of Alabama is proposing a Bryant-Denny Stadium renovation.
Last week, the university unveiled the 10-year, $600 million Crimson Standard campaign to upgrade athletic facilities. Through the initiative, Alabama will seek to modernize several venues, including basketball’s Coleman Coliseum, football’s Mal M. Moore Athletic Facility, and Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Renovations to Bryant-Denny Stadium would follow recent trends in college football facility updates by changing key aspects of the fan experience. Over time, Alabama is expected to expand the stadium’s concourses and upgrade its technology, while adding premium seating options such as suites, loges, and clubs.
The project would take place over multiple phases, with the first round expected to focus on an improvement to the south end that would include a new videoboard and standing deck. It is anticipated that construction on that part of the renovation could begin after the 2019 football season, pending final approval from university officials. More from AL.com:
— Work on Phase I is planned to begin after the 2019 season. That is expected to cost $78 million, though [Alabama athletics director Greg] Byrne said that number is fluid.
— Phase I will include reshaping the south end zone upper deck completed in 2010. A massive video board will replace a big chunk of the seating in the middle of the upper deck that has 9,683 seats.
— Alabama officials did not know the exact dimensions of the new video board.
— To replace some of those seats, a deck will be constructed for standing room viewing. Byrne said it was inspired by a trip he took to Lambeau Field to see how the Packers reshaped its stadium. Byrne said it was a better use of the space since the school had trouble getting students to fill in the upper deck portion of its seating allotment.
More exact details should be known over time, but the renovation could result in a reduction in seating capacity from the current figure of 101,821. There has been a fairly recent trend of college football programs lowering their stadium’s fixed seating capacity in order to create more comfortable seating options, and to introduce amenities such as clubs and social spaces.
Some of the specific changes that would take place to Bryant-Denny Stadium down the road include the relocation of the press box, which will move from the venue’s west side to its east side. That shift will be made to clear the way for 10 new suites in place of the current press box. In addition, Alabama will address Bryant-Denny Stadium’s team facilities through improvements to its locker room and recruiting room.
Renderings courtesy Crimson Tide Foundation.