KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Coming off of a bowl game win, the University of Tennessee Athletics program is concentrating on improving the fan experience in Knoxville.
UT Athletics is partnering with Populous, a sports architecture and design firm based out Kansas City, Montana to conduct a comprehensive renovation plan and feasibility study.
The multi-faceted project will include a facility and technology assessment, new conceptual designs, a market feasibility study, cost estimations and a financial and funding analysis, according to the University of Tennessee Athletics. The main thing they hope to accomplish is widening concourses, expanding restrooms and improving concessions areas.
Additionally, University of Tennessee Athletics said they also hope to look at adding enhancements to help the game day experience such as hospitality areas, additional video displays, a state-of-the-art sound system and better wi-fi signals.
“The time is right to turn our focus to the long-term investment in Neyland Stadium,” said Dave Hart, Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics. “This process is a critical step in determining the appropriate vision and supporting business model for a significant renovation. The resulting outcomes will serve as a catalyst toward making this vision become a reality.”
Neyland Stadium has an official capacity of 102,455. Originally constructed in 1921 with a seating capacity of 3,200, Neyland Stadium has undergone 16 expansion projects, and at one point, reached a capacity of 104,079 before being slightly reduced by alterations in the following decade.
Most recently, Neyland Stadium underwent a nearly $140 million, three phase renovation initiated after the 2005 football season and concluded prior to the start of the 2010 football season. Neyland Stadium is the fifth largest football stadium in the United States and remains an economic driver for the region of East Tennessee.
“We truly value the tremendous support of our Volunteer fan base,” said Hart. “It is an exciting time to be a Tennessee Volunteer. The enthusiasm surely to surround this project further demonstrates the positive trajectory and momentum behind our program.”