Vanderbilt University athletics director Malcolm Turner has announced upcoming upgrades to Vanderbilt Stadium, though plenty of work remains to address the aging facility’s long-term future.
The future of Vanderbilt Stadium has been subject of debate in recent years, as its last major renovation took place in 1981. Several years ago, the university appeared to be seriously considering the idea of sharing a new stadium with a Nashville MLS expansion franchise, but announced in September 2017 that it would pass on using the venue as a full-time home.
Thus far, no long-term plans for a major renovation have been announced, though on Tuesday, Turner revealed a slate of athletics facility upgrades that will include Vanderbilt Stadium. For the time being, the improvements will address more immediate needs, such as upgrades to wayfaring signage and restrooms, as well as a new videoboard. In his letter announcing the improvements, Turner emphasized that he is aware that plenty of work needs to be done to make Vanderbilt Stadium a more viable facility over the long run. More from The Tennessean:
At Vanderbilt Stadium, the videoboard in the south end zone will be removed, and the videoboard in the north end zone will be replaced with “a cutting-edge board with a sharper and brighter image,” Turner said in the university release announcing the changes.
Renovations to the restrooms also will begin soon at the football stadium as part of a series of enhancements to address fans’ complaints about the poor game-day experience. Cramped restrooms were among the criticisms in an online fan survey conducted by The Tennessean about Vanderbilt Stadium.
“We’ve been listening to our loyal fans and will soon be making additional enhancements to improve the current experience,” Turner said….
“While we have very clear and obvious limitations to the current structure of Vanderbilt Stadium, we are considering any and all interim options to improve the gameday experience,” Turner said. “Beyond what we can feasibly address for this upcoming season, we will continue to explore additional opportunities to enhance the experience until a longer-term plan and solution is developed.
Among the other athletic facility improvements announced by Turner include a new artificial turf playing surface and scoreboard improvements at baseball’s Hawkins Field, and lighting and sound system enhancements at Memorial Gymnasium. As for long-term planning, Turner’s letter did state that officials are “in the final stages of selecting a partner firm to conduct and craft a master facilities plan for Vanderbilt Athletics.” The letter can be read here.
Image courtesy Vanderbilt University athletics.
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