The University of Arkansas is set to move forward in its plans to expand Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
The UA Board of Trustees will be asked this week to vote whether to allow the Razorbacks to seek full designs and cost estimates for the project, as well as to begin fundraising efforts. Initial cost estimates value the expansion at $160 million.
That is up from a preliminary cost estimate of $95 million in the Razorbacks' 2011 facilities master plan.
The renovation would include adding more seating to the north side of the stadium, which currently has no seating. No timeline has been given for such a renovation.
The UA has studied adding more suites and club seats to the stadium's north end over the past few years. Ticket holders were surveyed in 2013 on whether they would be interested in purchasing suites and club seats at the stadium.
All 134 of the stadium's luxury suites were sold out at the time of the 2013 survey, with a waiting list consisting of approximately 75 accounts.
Among potential additions are loge boxes such as ones located in stadiums at Rutgers and Minnesota. Loge boxes would seat 4 to 8 people, according to the survey, and could be located inside or outside under a cover. Loge box amenities could include exclusive TV content, including instant replays and additional camera angles.
Fans were also surveyed about the addition of luxury suites in the north end zone, including potential field level suites with access to players, coaches and game day preparations. Luxury suites could include seating for approximately 16 people with immediate access to private climate-controlled areas, preferred parking and access to a club lounge.
According to the UA, the stadium renovation would be paid for in bonds, capital gifts and athletics department revenue. Some lower-level single-game and season-ticket prices are also expected to increase as a result of the renovation, but upper-level seating may become more affordable.
“This project is about improving the game day experience for every Razorback fan,” Arkansas athletics director Jeff Long said. “The addition of a north end zone will connect fans throughout the stadium. Renovated suite and club areas will provide a variety of options for fans.
"Reducing prices in the upper level of the stadium and providing a lower priced standing room only ticket will give every Arkansan an opportunity to cheer on the Hogs."
According to the UA, the Broyles Athletic Center would have to be rebuilt as a result of the expansion. The center houses administrative offices for the Razorbacks and is located on the north end of the stadium.
Other additions to the stadium will include a new video board in the south end zone, new elevators and renovations to existing club and suite seating.
The stadium, built in 1939, last underwent a major renovation prior to the 2001 season.
That expansion added an upper deck to the east side, as well as club seating and suites to the south end, expanding capacity to 72,000 people.