Work resumes on Neyland Stadium

The University of Tennessee Athletics Department announced Wednesday that Phase II of the renovations on Neyland Stadium began this week.

Phase II includes concourse renovations and the creation of a mezzanine on the first level west side of the stadium, renovations to the locker room, the addition of a field level Lettermen's Room and new media center as well as brick work around the field level. The bid for Phase II was awarded to Knoxville-based Johnson & Galyon. The project cost is estimated at $18.6 million.

"Neyland Stadium holds a special place in the hearts of Tennessee fans everywhere," said Mike Hamilton, men's athletics director. "Over the past 86 years, it has grown to become one of America's greatest football stadiums. I believe these renovations will enhance the fan experience for years to come."

In November 2004, UTAD unveiled its master plan for Neyland Stadium to provide a long-term solution to issues currently facing the structure and prepare the stadium for the next 75 years.

Phase I began in November 2005 and was completed for the 2006 season. Phase I included much needed improvements to basic infrastructure amenities such as water, electric and sewer throughout the stadium, as well as renovations near Gate 21 that featured wider concourses, new and renovated restrooms as well as new concession stands. Phase I also included the addition of the East Club, which is a primary funding source for the initial renovations.

The long-term master plan will improve the Neyland Stadium experience for all fans while enhancing safety and security. The improvements include:

• Renovation and widening of concourse areas to assist in traffic flow and make fans' experience more enjoyable;

• Addition of family restrooms;

• Increase in the current number of women's restroom facilities by almost 300 percent;

• Addition of concession stands;

• Creation of entry plazas;

• Addition of club seats; and

• Update of the infrastructure for water, electric and sewer systems.

Numerous ADA issues also have been addressed to improve access for all fans, including the eventual addition of new elevators.

The master plan was created in a phased approach. The phases are independent to ensure that funding is available for each phase before construction begins. The renovations should take approximately 8-12 years to complete, provided funding is available.

Several specific revenue streams were designated to fund the future of Neyland Stadium and the continuance of Tennessee's prominence on the national stage. Funding sources for the estimated $115 million project include philanthropic gifts and bonds to be serviced by a combination of annual athletics department revenues. The addition of club seating will be a major funding source for the renovations, providing more that $28 million in private gifts and more than $2.5 million in annual revenue to service improvement bonds. Funds generated from the 2004 sideline seating policy change also are being used for the renovations.

For more information on the master plan, log onto utsports.com.

The University of Tennessee athletics department is one of fewer than 10 departments in the country that receives no funds from state subsidies or taxes.


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