The costly change from grass to field turf at baseball's Hawkins Field is 99.9% covered by an anonymous donation, showing that alums and commercial backers are getting behind the school's push for increased athletic success. New Jumbotrons are being installed both at Memorial Gym and Vanderbilt Stadium, the latter being seen as the most important of all the renovations. These new displays will be larger, clearer, and brighter, and will help enhance the game day experience for fans who now expect big information screens at games.
Further improvements planned include new meeting and locker rooms for all sports, and a large new indoor practice facility for the football team. Vice Chancellor David Williams has also commented on how the next phase of improvements will include improving basic seating at the football stadium, as well as a complete overhaul of the luxury seats and press box.
The whole plan is seen as key to improving the overall fan experience at all Vanderbilt sports. As with any school, increased TV exposure is making it more difficult to sell tickets, and by offering more luxury amenities to even the average spectator the stands are more likely to be filled.
Vanderbilt may be the school with the smallest enrollment in the SEC, but more and more that "small-market" thinking is being kicked to the curb by an administration that wants to matter in every athletic contest. Follow @VandyManiacom
(Photo by Whitney D.)