The University of Tennessee will hold off on beginning Neyland Stadium renovations, as officials want to continue evaluating the scope of the project.
There has been discussions about a major overhaul to Neyland Stadium, with the renovation focusing on improvements to fan and team amenities. A renovation proposal took a major step forward last November, when the UT Board of Trustees athletics committee approved a $340-million upgrade that would take place over two phases–the first of which would be substantially complete by August 2020, before the entire project wrapped up by the 2021 season.
However, the university has undergone some major leadership changes in the period since that decision was made, including the appointment of Phillip Fulmer to replace John Currie as athletic director. Fulmer indicated this week that the project is now in a holding pattern, as Tennessee wants to consider various aspects of the proposal before moving forward. In his remarks, Fulmer said that the decision to hold off on beginning construction does not relate to the financials of the plan, but that it allows the university more time to consider the specifics of a future renovation. More from the Knoxville News Sentinel:
Athletic director Phillip Fulmer said Thursday that he’s hopeful construction could begin “within the next year or so, no more than two.”
The holdup, Fulmer said, doesn’t pertain to finances.
“We’re still looking at all the design, all the scope, and just what do we really want to do?” Fulmer said. “What’s going to be the best for the next 100 years?
“That’s the reason for the delay is, what do we really want to do?”
Under the plan that was previously approved by the committee, the project would include a $180 million first phase that was intended to improve Neyland Stadium’s south end.
Image courtesy Tennessee football.