While acknowledging the need for major upgrades, Vanderbilt University officials have plenty of planning to do before launching a Vanderbilt Stadium renovation.
Over the last several years, there has been debate about the future of Vanderbilt Stadium–which received its last major renovation in 1981 and lags behind other college football facilities, especially in Vanderbilt’s competitive SEC. A renovation has been viewed as a likely option for addressing the facility’s future, particularly since Vanderbilt’s September 2017 announcement that it would not move football into a planned Nashville MLS stadium, but no firm proposal for long-term improvements has surfaced.
Last week did bring some good news for Vanderbilt Stadium’s upkeep, however, as athletics director Malcolm Turner announced a slate of athletic facility upgrades that will include the venue. The improvements to Vanderbilt Stadium will address more immediate needs, such as upgrades to wayfaring signage and restrooms, as well as a new videoboard. When discussing the upgrades last week, Turner emphasized that the university is doing what it can to enhance Vanderbilt Stadium until a major renovation plan surfaces. For right now, the university is working to launch a master facilities planning process that could guide any future renovations. More from The Tennessean:
“I think it’s what we can feasibly do right now,” Turner said last week at the SEC meetings. “We’re still taking a look at all options that we have available to us, but I didn’t want to take a position of, let’s wait and see for an eventual, longer-term solution, when there are things that we can do right now.
“And obviously we’re limited in terms of what we can do right now, but where we can enhance the experience, let’s take a look at that. And if we can quickly implement some things by next season, by all means we should do that.”…
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 an improved image. 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.
Turner said in Destin that Vanderbilt is preparing to launch a master facilities planning process that “will help inform a longer-term solution.”
Building a competitive facilities slate in college football requires more than just an updated stadium, so Vanderbilt could look at its program’s facilities as a whole in mapping out upgrades, with a renovated Vanderbilt Stadium being at the center of long-term improvements.
Image courtesy Vanderbilt University athletics.