The University of Louisville‘s Cardinal Stadium will have many of its seats restored to their original color, as a board voted Monday to approve the project.
As part of a $1.2 million project approved by the University’s Athletic Association Board, 37,800 seats within the lower bowl of Cardinal Stadium will be refurbished. The red seating has faded since the stadium’s 1998 opening to a pinkish color, but University of Louisville officials are hoping that the restoration will return the seats to their original red before Louisville’s 2019 season home opener on September 2.
The restoration process unfolds much differently than a traditional seating replacement project, and emerged as a more affordable alternative for Louisville. More from WDRB:
“That’s probably No. 1 in terms of projects and improvements,” [Louisville athletics director Vince] Tyra said. “And when we didn’t include it in the stadium expansion project, that just excited the issue even further. But we found a way to resolve the issue. Pink seats are probably the biggest thing I hear about, and today we got approval to move forward.”
The seats won’t be replaced. The cost for that would run more than $6 million. Instead, U of L approached a company that restores destroyer guns and other equipment for the U.S. Navy, asking about using a similar process on the plastic seats.
It involves pressure washing the seat, sanding it, then essentially using a blow torch to open up pores in the plastic before adding a protective UV coating to slow down fading in the future.
Not included in the project are upper-level seats, or any seating added as part of last year’s north end zone expansion.
Image, posted to Facebook in April 2018, courtesy University of Louisville Football.