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July 18, 2008

Sanford Stadium Expansion Rendering


One of the posters ("spoidkills") on DawgPost.com's message board posted an interesting, hypothetical image of what Sanford Stadium would look like with a new expansion at the open, bridge end of the stadium (click image to enlarge).

As you can see, his image maintains the view from the bridge by elevating a new upper deck high enough over the existing seats as to leave a view into the stadium. He envisions using some sort of column structure to support the massive weight of a new upper deck.

Unfortunately, the expansion might still leave the ability to see into the stadium; however, the view of campus from inside the stadium would be shot to hell.

How would it work?
I'm clearly no structural engineer, but this might not be so far fetched. The existing 600 level at Sanford Stadium is essentially a free standing structure with platform and deck on top. The image below shows how they built it (side view from OnlineAthens.com):


Why couldn't you use a similar column supporting structure to support a new deck at that end? Of all the conceptual designs that I've heard described, this one makes more sense than most.

How many seats would it create?
In his post, he estimates that this type of expansion might add 15,000 seats. As a point of comparison, the 1981 expansion that enclosed the railroad track end of the stadium (upper and lower level) added 19,000 seats in 1981.

As further comparison, the new endzone upper deck at Bryant-Denny Stadium added 8,300 seats, and it looks roughly the same size as the diagram above....if taken literally. My guess, we'd be adding 7,000-9,000 new seats. Thereby pushing our capacity to approximately 100,000.

I think I remember seeing that the ticket office delivered 9,000 refunds for season ticket holders. So, there is probably demand to fill these seats with contributors.

Overall:
I'm beginning to think that Stadium Expansion is an eventual necessity / reality, and I don't think that wrapping the 600 level around makes any sense. First off, what would you do with East Campus Road? Secondly, 600 level seats in the end zone would essentially be an entire football away from the 50 yard line. I sort of explain that here.

To be clear, there's no evidence that any sort of plans like this are in the works. It's just a "what if."

But it's something to think about. What's your reaction to this conceptual design?

PWD

70 comments:

Texas_Dawg said...

There's no need to expand just to add more numbers or lower ticket prices somewhat, etc. Sanford may not be the biggest stadium, but the view of the bridge and beyond help make it one of the best football stadiums in the country.

And filling the 600 level all the way around could be done. It would be a major undertaking as East Campus Road at that spot would become a tunnel under the new extension of the stadium.

But the view should be preserved for now. More seats just to be the biggest is not necessary.

Anonymous said...

Where on earth would they put the ramps for walking up that beast?

Anonymous said...

I like it, its very unique. If you look at the concept, the current stair cases touch the new addition. So, that is where you would get in and out.

Anonymous said...

btw, I think this would cost $40+ million to do...soooo, unfortunately I don't see anything like this happening for a very long while. At least until tate 2 has paid for itself.

NCT said...

Personally, I'm not crazy about the north 600 deck because of its asymmetry, necessitated (I assume) by E Campus Road. The mock-up of the west end enclosure is too curved. It would be flatter than that, like the east end and the lower-level west stands below it. I could support such a move only if it abutted the north and south 300 levels, like the east end.

Final thought: believe it or not, I think it would make the stadium look smaller from the inside. Once the east end was enclosed, the stadium actually looked smaller from the bridge, because the new construction brought the east end closer, visually.

HiAltDawg said...

PWD said "I'm clearly no structural engineer." I wish that we could hire out a ga(y) tech grad to figure it out, but they end up dropping out after a qtr. & 1/2 to manage a call center in Bangalore. Good thing the fellas over on Ag Hill in UGA's Ag. Eng. School will figure things out.

p.s. florida sucks

ernest said...

I'm for inclosing the bridge end the statium and desiginating at least 1/2 the tickets fot students. The view from the bridge is secondary to the added space. I can assure you that we would fill it up. Money has never stood in our way before. Do it

dawgnotdog said...

When the 600 level was added, they also worked on East Campus road to go ahead and add some footings and reinforcement to potentially use it for a future stadium expansion.

ECR would become a tunnel, but it can be done, and is very much on the table as a possibility.

Anonymous said...

building there would also involve tearing down the relatively new scoreboard amd figuring out where a big screed and scoreboard would go. doing that would also mean adding an additional big screen more than likely

baltimore dawg said...

i hate the idea of fully enclosing sanford like that. what you lose is the sense of connectedness of the stadium to the campus. from the outside, what you'd get is a huge, gray hulking edifice casting a depressing shadow over tate plaza. and the current view from the inside that frames the cupola of the student achievement center would be lost. but the tv views from elevation that you get toward the west end zone and beyond ought to be weighed very carefully because that in itself is a powerful institutional asset. it's one of the best fall football "tv shots" going.

Hassan said...

I'm not necessarily against expansion, but expanding for the sake of expanding should not be a consideration. Nor should we over expand just to accommodate the high ticket demand today. The view of the surrounding campus structures are part of what makes Sanford feel an integral part of the heart of the university. You could add more seats over the bleachers in Wrigley or tear down the green monster in Fenway to get better stadium seating....but why would anybody do that?!?

Anonymous said...

I'm 6'3 and have to stand on my tippy toes to catch a glimpse of the field from the bridge.

Yes, you can see the stadium but it used to be nice when you could really look around it.

Anyway, I hope whatever is done does not further diminish the view.

Go Dawgs!

Andrew said...

I have it from a very good source that any expansion on Sanford Stadium will be on the east side, essentially turning East Campus Road into a tunnel that would run underneath the new addition. The west end will never be closed in.

Sports Dawg said...

All of that is great, but where are you going to park all those additional vehicles? That's a tremensous problem already.

Stephen said...

Also, keep in mind that the new videoboard that Sanford uses was just put in in 2005. Don't you think the Athletic Association would like to get a little more use out of it before they tear it down? However, I have heard rumblings that they might want to replace it anyway. Auburn just recently got a hi-def videoboard last year, and UGA may be looking to go that route. Both Auburn's and UGA's videoboards were constructed by Daktronics.

all school said...

I hear AU's next stadium expansion is going to include several luxury "sky trailers." Their AD loves the concept because it'll be popular with their fans, and harmonious with the overall theme of the campus.

mitch said...

I love the idea but i would just wrap the 300 level all the way around to the stair tower. That would look better imo/

mitch said...

Wrapping the 600 level around is stupid. That would be terrible terrible seats. Why tunnel East campus and spend all that money on terrible seats when we can just wrap the 300 level around and enclose and keep some "view" from the bridge. Wrapping the 600 level around only adds 5,000 more seats, its not worth it. Enclose the damn stadium.

Anonymous said...

isn't the view going to the hindered anyway by all the new buildings, tate 2, etc.?

Mark Castleberry said...

Dig the field down 20 feet, narrow the sidelines, and add thousands of HIGH quality lower level seats. You'd just need to make the last few steps down steeper.

mitch said...

Yes, they are almost done with the parking deck for tate 2 and they pretty much have the roof up for tate2 and its going to block most of the view. Also, whenever they get the funding, the new alumi associaiton building is going up in front of tate 2.

Anonymous said...

Or...we have two great season, then a couple mediocre ones like ALL programs do and ticket demand goes back down. You're lying to yourself if you don't think the athletic association LOVES having demand for season tickets and a "wait list." If the stadium is enclosed then it becomes exactly like every other stadium in the SEC, which is not something I want.

ChicagoDawg said...

Not a big fan of closing West End, not because of the view from the bridge, but becuase of the view out of the stadium. Having the stadium open up with a view of the trees, campus buildings etc., makes for the perfect asthetic mix of stadium and college campus -- IMO. We will never be able to keep up with the seating capacity arms race, so that is not a motivator for me. As for revenues, while I suspect it could bring in a few extra sheckles, I don't think the program is in a desperate need to generate additional revenues -- although I am not naive and understand that is always a desire and the ultimate life blood of a program. Having said that, I think we can survive with 92k and preserve a college stadium asthetic, otherwise we are going to turn Sanford Stadium into the Meadowlands.

JChilds said...

The road that would be affected is Sanford Drive and the Sanford Bridge, not East Campus as referred to here. East Campus is on the other end of the stadium.

I believe the plan that the AA has discussed employing beyond 2012 is to tear down the original Tate Center, and move Sanford Bridge west into that area, then have plenty of clearance to enclose that end of the stadium at the upper level. Dooley and others have said that the design of that end incorporated the ability to eventually enclose it.

Paul Westerdawg said...

Mark - That's actually a pretty cool idea about lowering the stadium.

However, there is a creek running below the stadium. So I'm not sure how they would re-direct move it if we had to lower the field.

In other words, not sure if it's even possible. I know this though...if you dropped the field and added 8-10 more rows all around it....my seats would kick way more a$$.

ChiliDawg said...

I've been told the original Tate isn't going anywhere. I'm on staff at WUOG, and we are moving into the old Tate once the new one is finished. Other offices and general use space will be located in the old Tate.

Anonymous said...

Ugh.

That's ugly and contrived...worse archtiecturally than even Tech's stadium.

90K-plus seats is enough.

mitch said...

Enclose the stadium and put up a glass plaza level for the 200 level.

dawgnotdog said...

about the creek under the stadium...

In olden days (the 80s), there was a tunnel holding the creek which was big enough to walk from the Tate Parking lot to the cemetary.

Not sure if it could be reduced in size, or exactly how deep below the field it is.

Hunkering Hank said...

How about we actually consider about what might help the team on the field?

Adding seats to the 600 level in the endzone is a waste of time in that regard other than the dollars it generates - assuming they would go to the program. And, if you've ever been in the 600 level, from the fan's perspective you know those seats suck big time.

There appear to be two ways to benefit the team: (A) Dig down as Castleberry (genius) has suggested and divert the creek through a concrete tunnel underground; or (B) fill in the West/Tate Center endzone.

If (A) above is the plan, it won't affect you very much except for some rearranging of season tickets and might assist the team by getting our fans closer to the field to make noise. However, it seems that our sidelines are not overly large and that this might not really make much difference while having the effect of making the situation on the field very tight. If (B) is the plan, then it is my opinion that what would most assist the team would be to construct that part of the stadium as vertically as possible. What I'm saying is that the ideas for the West endzone kicked around in these comments does not assist the team as much as it could. Instead, to assist the team, stacking the decks as vertically as possible - on on top of the other - so as to create a wall of noise coming from that endzone, would most help the team.

Jordan said...

While I understand people's sympathy towards keeping the view from the bridge in tact and/or the view from the stadium to the rest of campus, but things change and people should accept that. I am sure when they closed in the end by east campus road back in the day people were mad they could no longer sit on the hill on east campus and see the game, but I don't hear too many people complaining about that now.

The fact is that UGA continues to graduate many, many students and many of these students graduating are die hard football fans. With Atlanta exploding as it is many of these students stay in the metro area and there will be an ever increasing demand in tickets. Yes, demand is cyclical with team performance, but overall the fan base will continue to grow.

It will become a necessity to expand and close in that side of the stadium. In fact, if you look at the renderings of the new Tate II you'll see they're making walkways, etc. that connect the SLC, Tate II, to Ag Hill. They don't necessarily need the road right by the stadium when they can use Lumpkin. I know the campus plan is to remove most of the roads within campus and keep them to the outside of campus.

I think if you wrap the stadium around in a respectful manner with eye-pleasing texture it would be fine. I don't want an ugly eyesore rising up next to Tate, but I think the people in charge will take that into consideration.

And just think how loud the stadium would be when all that noise is not leaving outside that side of the stadium. But like above posters said, I don't see this happening anytime soon.

Hassan said...

Is the tunnel under the stadium not there anymore? We used to get a wild hair every so often late at night and walk that thing mostly in the dark. Maybe take one flashlight for about 8 of us. Art students (I'm guessing from the talent level) painted some cool murals in the tunnel. You can get to the cemetery and visit Ricky Wilson's grave on the other side. He's got a cool pyramid headstone.

Scott said...

One thing to worry about with the tunnell under the stadium: stormwater restrictions today are alot more strict then they wereway back when the tunne was built. I would be willing to bet that the tunnel would be upsized tremendously because they would have to account for any water that comes through the tunnel now as well as additional flow that would result as areas that contribute flow to the creek continue to develop in the future. As for getting to Ricky Wison's grave, you can drive right up to within 20 feet of it anytime the cemetary gates are open. I worked for a large local funeral home digging and covering graves when I was at UGA (99-02) and lowered quite a few folks into the ground at Oconee Hill.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

I love it. That would be intimidating as hell keeping the noise inside that stadium.

Hassan said...

Scott...

It's a lot easier to take Delta Airlines to get from Georgia to Maine, but some people still like to hike the Appalachian Trail.

Anonymous said...

The addition would obviously change the dynamics of the stadium and the "view" but I would prefer to look at this from a football perspective.
Right now, the loudest part of the stadium is typically the student sections on the band's side. All of the noise that they create, filters directly out of the stadium. If you close that part of the stadium, it will trap all of the noise inside much more effectively than now. In doing so, you actually make Sanford a LOUD stadium and a formidable place to play. "Between the hedges" would be equal to "Death Valley" in sheer noise level.
Forget the extra seats, prices, view, etc. Just imagine the amount of noise you trap! It would be insane!

Bop said...

I'm completely against ever enclosing the stadium. The bridge, the view from inside looking out, and the view from the bridge looking in are all part of Georgia's football tradition. I pray we never mess with that part of the stadium.

Anonymous said...

I think its laughable when people talk about the "view". All i know is when i am in that stadium, i could care less about the view, i watch the product on the field.

Anonymous said...

You might not care about the "view" but that "view" is the FIRST thing visitors to campus mention. For instance, go to Sanford bridge on a day like today and within an hours time, you will see AT LEAST 75 people having their picture taken with the inside of the stadium in the background. The whole "noise" trapping thing is overrated. Noise doesn't win games, and it has a much smaller impact than most people think.

Dante said...

Personally, if I'm on that side of town and the kids are in the car, I'll drive by Sanford. The kids get a kick out of seeing the stadium, especially the 2yr old boy. I'm not particularly fond of it being enclosed on that end but it'll happen eventually. Also, I could care less about the view out of the stadium. I don't find the construction site, parking deck, or dorm high rises to be appealing scenery.

Anonymous said...

annon at 3:28- dude, are you crazy? when teams are forced to scream their lungs out to make audibles, it burns time outs... it is an absolute advantage? Have you ever played a team sport? When it is loud it is nerve racking, not to mention annoying.
Plus, it pumps up your own team. I gotta go with the "noise" argument over the whole "view" of what will be tate two... and that is about it.

Anonymous said...

All i know, is that you go to the stadium to watch the dawgs play. If closing the stadium makes it just the slightest bit more difficult to the opposing team and will aide the dawgs, I say do it. The view right now isn't that awe-inspiring anyway. You see the disgusting freshmen dorms that are 30 years over their prime anyway.

Support the team and the reason you are AT the stadium... close it, and yell your ass off. that is the reason you are there, not to be gawking around at the view.

Anonymous said...

The simulated deck in that picture looks horrible. There is no point in leaving an opening to see in from the bridge if that is the end to be enclosed. That deck looks like the ugly piecemeal end zone deck in Gainsville.

The bridge end should be enclosed to match the 300s level on both sides. Adding a 600s deck to the East end zone would be pointless because no one would want to sit up there (although I guess they could give the 100s and 300s level visitors seats to UGA seaosn ticket holders and just make every single visitor sit int he 600s sections).

If people want to be able to see in from the bridge so badly, then just raise the bridge to the level of the two opposing hills in Sanford drive. That would look silly, but at least the people that wanted to get up there and look in, could do so.....

Anonymous said...

Anon. at 4:24,
That may sound strange (raising the bridge to see over the expanded seating) but I actually really like that idea. I don't know if it is feasible from an architectural standpoint but it seems like an idea that would cater to more seating and preserving the unique bridge view

Dawg19 said...

If you're worried about your view of the field during the game, here's my advice...

Buy a television and get cable.

EVERY Georgia game is on television this year one way or another. I know, the Georgia Southern game is on Pay-per-view and a lot of people won't have that option. It's not that hard to get tickets to games with a lesser opponent.

I go to one or two games a year without having tickets prior to getting there. I've never had problems getting seats with a decent "view" of the field. For all the other games, CBS and ESPN have these really awesome cameras that give fantastic "views" plus replays. I have a bathroom and a fridge full of beer real close to my living room, too.

There's no reason to expand the stadium right now. It's fine the way it is.

mitch said...

Theres about 9,000 reasons to expand the stadium right now. If the demand is like this again next year, the expansion talk will be brought up. If its like this again that following year, an expansion will take place after that season.

Anonymous said...

I don't see why they couldn't shrink the distance between the seats to make more rows in some areas. That is how Neyland Stadium holds so many people. We have alot of room behind the seats and we could add more seats that have better views rather than adding another 600 level or destroying the view inside the stadium from the bridge.

mitch said...

For the love of god NO dont shrink the seats. I hate neyland because of that. Your knees go into the guy in front of you and you cant move because you are in there so tight.

montgomeryaldawg said...

Anon 4:24 & 4:59
I like the idea. The 600 sux and the 300 expansion would be much better aesthetically and for a fan experience. Louder and somewhat traditional.

montgomeryaldawg said...

I concur Mitch.

Anonymous said...

knees in the back? who the hell is sitting down at the games?

T Champion said...

I know the university already has some plans drawn up for it. I stumbled on them doing some research in the library right after the newest addition was completed. It was done fairly close to what was rendered, except that it was stating a plan of adding about 15,000 seats.

Anonymous said...

This is kind of nerdy, but bare with me. There is no way they extend the east end of the stadium over East Campus Road. The current east end configuration prohibits the winter sun from reaching the grass from about the 10 yard line east. You can imagine then, that if the east end was any higher that makes for even more grass that wouldn't get sunlight. No sunlight = dead grass. Unless you want artificial grass, which I think none of us do, then we can't build the east end any higher.

Smitty said...

I don't want artificial grass. The regular kind gets me high just fine.....

Anonymous said...

For what it is worth from a former AA employee. (A) Anonymous 6:42PM, enclosing/extending decks would lead to an artificial surface, no question about that point, three to four hours of sunlight would be eliminated resulting in dead bermuda which is the base of the field, during 90% of season it is perenninal rye; however, you MUST consider Junior Day and recruiting visits(during spring/summer) to an artificial surface, not many kids want to play on those surfaces due to their reputation of injuries. (B) Expenses incurred to perform expansion, as much as I'd like to think football will stay in the top 10 for the next ten to twenty years(amount of time to have a ROI for such a grand project) I don't think it will happen. (C) UGAA would need to replace their two year old, multi-million dollar scoreboard with either (1) two HD scoreboards at each end of satdium or (2) banner boards-similar to Turner Field(logistics to hang boards would be a nightmare-helicopters would need to be involved)-would need to be added encircling concrete facing area above Club Level. (D) If we have the money lowering field may be best option, the creek barely skirts sidelines at midfield and could be relocated for an extremely high price due to time constraints-with graduation, recruiting visits/Junior Day, and summer practice-and removing a large portion of the lower deck on the home sideline. I say we leave it as is, sure I would love to have the second or third largest staduim in college football; however, demand for tickets will eventually go down at some point in time and everone who wants them will be able to get them, eventually. Also, consider the condition of the current stadium, it is not a dump by any means, but some of that concrete has been in place for over 50 years and needs to be renovated to provide the best staduim experience for those fortunate people who obtain tickets. Thanks for your time.

Anonymous said...

Continue the 600 level expansion but I have mixed emotions about the bridge end. If seating is added to the bridge end it needs to be unique, I mean something special.

mitch said...

Continue the 600 level right. I have never even thought of that level blocking the light from hitting the grass. Not only would wrapping the 600 level around be a waste of money for some horrible seats then we also have to have fake grass. I like real grass much better amd its better on players knees.

Anonymous said...

Plus, honestly, how ridiculous would we look having real hedges and fake grass? That's the kind of stuff we would mercilessly scorn any opponent for.

Mitch Kumstein said...

I like the idea of extending the 3 level around. Here's a rough rendering, kinda lopsided:

Better?

TomReagan said...

This should never be allowed to happen. Yes, I understand the demand and the argument that it would make it louder, but I wouldn't trade it for being able to look down over that field when I rode by it on a bus as a student.

And I'm not going to be in favor of taking that away from my son. That viewing hole just doesn't look like it'll cut it.

The point is that Sanford is literally a part of campus. That enclosure would take that away.

Anonymous said...

Thats what needs to happen right there, wrap the 300 level around. That looks good.

Anonymous said...

Wrap the 300 level around like that and put a big plaza level in where the opening is with glass.

Jordan said...

I really can't understand the "nostalgia" aspect of not wanting to close in the endzone. Like I said in a post above, people were upset when they closed in the other side of the endzone and ruined the view from east campus hill, but NO ONE, absolutely NO ONE, is complaining about that now. I think it is silly for people to be complaining that a view from a bridge will be remove if we close in that side of the stadium. Get over it. Its going to happen.

Anonymous said...

Amazing response to this thread, If left up to this official bandwagon jumper, I would tear down that old bridge and build in a newer bridge that is integrated into the structure of an enclosed west end. How much of a view are yah gonna get with that new super duper student center being built in front of Tate now. That way we still have a bridge for Sanford Drive if necessary, and its closed off to the free loading homeless drunks during game time. Who cares about the "view" of campus what are we there for a three hour tour or a football game.

Sales said...

I think a great idea is to possibly demolish the bridge and building a much higher bridge that serves as a plaza and bus terminal for the student center and the stadium. The stadium needs larger plazas for fans and a larger bus and parking area. I just left Athens today and the new Tate expansion is just unreal. I'm a huge fan of expansion as long as many different issues are addressed I think the new 600 level is atrocious BTW. It really has no place. I say build more skyboxes around the stadium than jack up the height of the structure. The players look like ants from the 600 section and you can not hear a dern thing. It is horrible.

Anonymous said...

This is a terrible idea...Sanford Stadium has finally reached its potential. Don't mess with perfection.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks grass would not grow is clueless. And exactly what kind of view are you looking at from inside the stadium. Its not like you get a fgew of the mountains or the Atlanta skyline. Stupid.
Oh, I think I'll go to the game this Sat. who are we playing? I don't care I just go for the view.

Anonymous said...

I hope that this never happens. Sanford Stadium is perfect right now. Sure it would be nice to increase capacity, but it's not worth sacrificing the view from campus and from the stadium. Plus, all of the awesome old oak trees growing right next to the corner of the West section would have to be cut down, which would be awful. Adding a monstrosity like this would turn what is one of college football's most unique settings into just another stadium. 92,000 is fine.

Anonymous said...

Having just heard that for the first time (the 2008 season) students can only get "split" season tickets (each student goes to only 3 of the 6 games) I am now convinced that 1) Sanford Stadium needs more seating capacity and 2) the students need to be closer to the field. Having a great experience in Sanford Stadium is one reason students want to come back as alumni.

Anonymous said...

As a current student at the University of Georgia I support the expansion of Sanford Stadium. It is ridiculous that students from the university can't even get full season tickets. After paying all the tuition and being some of the teams loudist fans, we still get screwed with tickets. Also, enclosing the stadium would increase the sound inside the stadium an enormous amount, most likely resulting in more games won. One thing ESPN and all other sports channels talk about the volume at stadiums such as Florida's Swamp and LSU's Death Valley. So, the more seats the better.

 
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