LEXINGTON, Ky. (11/26/13) – Gov. Steve Beshear, government and university officials and fans from across the Big Blue Nation gathered Monday at the Nutter Field House for the revealment of the planned renovation of Commonwealth Stadium.
The $110 million facelift is scheduled to be complete by 2015 and is set to include wider concourses, new concessions and restrooms, three new club spaces at the 50-yard line, a new press box on the south side of the stadium and new sideline suites. The team will enter the field on the east end zone, which will be home to a new locker room, a recruiting room and surrounded by student seating and the Wildcat marching band.
“There is a tangible, physical aspect to the momentum that's building,” said Gov. Beshear during the revealment. “This stadium upgrade will help ensure the continued financial success of UK football by adding suites, club suites and other amenities that will enhance the fan experience.”
The renovation stems from House Bill 7, a bill introduced during the 2013 regular session of the Kentucky General Assembly. The bill authorizes six Kentucky universities to issue agency bonds for projects the universities themselves would pay for. No state appropriations or tuition dollars will be used on the renovation.
“Coach, we're on our way, buddy,” said Beshear to Coach Mark Stoops at the end of his speech.
UK President Eli Capilouto recalled talking with Stoops about new investments for the football program a year ago.
“Today, we replace words with action,” said Capilouto. “We acknowledge the strength of our resolve to compete and succeed in college football's most competitive conference, the SEC. This project, a dramatic renewal of Commonwealth Stadium, reflects the lasting power of partnerships. Partnership between a state and its flagship university. Partnership between a university and its athletic department. Partnership between a team and its tireless, borderless fan base.”
No one seems more excited about the new renovations than Stoops. Stoops said the new stadium will be great for players and fans, and is already having a major effect on recruiting.
“I want to fast forward and get to that look right now,” said Stoops, pointing at a large banner displaying what the new Commonwealth Stadium will look like behind him. “If we're going to build this program to where we need it to go, there's going to need to be a lot of people and a big commitment from a lot of people. With this announcement today, you can see that we have that great support and, we, as a football program, greatly appreciate that.”
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