Construction will begin 12 months early

Cardinal Authority notebook from the stadium expansion press conference

Here's a quick notebook and full video from U of L's stadium expansion press conference held on Wednesday afternoon.

1. Early

The University first announced plans for to once again expand Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on Aug. 28, 2015 and officially launched the campaign to field level seats, premium boxes and seats in February of this year.  When both of those milestones were met, the expectation was that the actual construction wouldn't be complete until the 2019 season.

Mark Jurich, U of L's Senior Associate Athletic Director for Development, announced on Wednesday morning, citing "a ton of momentum," that the expansion construction would begin at the completion of this season with completion now set for the home opener of the 2018 season.

RELATED:  Expansion will begin in December

2. Support

The reason for the movement is due to the continual growing support of the U of L football community.  While some of the sales have come from corporate donors, Jurich called the overall sales a "mix" with most going to individuals.

All field level and premium boxes have been sold for the new area that will add 10,000 seats to the stadium.

"It's exciting to see the support that we have from our fan base," said Petrino.

"It's really a compliment to our fans and our donors who have believed in us, and in coach Petrino and the team that he's assembled and the momentum that we've had."

3. Impact

The impact from the stadium expansion and the Howard Schnellenberger Football Complex, which will grow to nearly 100,000 square feet, will be felt in multiple areas.  The expanded complex will allow for improved health and overall well-being of the student-athletes, enhance coaching abilities and recruiting.

"It's about being able to go into a home and tell a parent that your son will be given every opportunity to use his abilities and become the best possible player that he can become," said Petrino.

4. Moving Out

At some point the coaching staff and players will forced out of the Schnellenberger Complex as construction breaks walls to make room for the improvements.

Still unsure of where, how and for how long the team will be displaced, Petrino was eager to make the sacrifice.

"We can work around that," he said.

5.  Johnny U.

Still no decision on where the Johnny Unitas statue will be moved to.

"It's going to be put in a prominent place and we want to make sure that it's accessible for all of our fans to be able to truly appreciate it."

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