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September 25, 2008

100,000 seats in Sanford Stadium part of UGA's New Gojillion Dollar Athletic Facilities Master Plan

If you were wondering what Georgia was going to do with the incremental $10 million or so per year in new SEC TV Revenue and the $20 million or so per year "surplus" that the athletic department has been pulling the last few's your answer. (Image: one of several options for expanding Sanford Stadium. Click to enlarge.)

The Athletic Department debuted its new master plan for facilities which should guide the design, construction and later prioritization of facility enhancements for the next 10-15 years.

The plan is currently conceptual. It shows where new or renovated buildings would be located, and to what extent the facilities would change. UGA has not announced costs or stated which items would be prioritized first. This is the first step in a bigger journey.

Included in the plan:
  • Football - Indoor Practice Facility at South Milledge Complex
  • Football - Expansion of Sanford Stadium to 100,000+
  • Football - Reed Alley Renovation
  • Basketball - Overhaul to Stegeman's Facade, Concessions and Restrooms
  • Administration/Football - Butts-Mehre renovation (previously announced)
  • Baseball - New Baseball Stadium on current Foley Field Site
  • Track - New Track facility at South Milledge Complex
  • Soccer/Softball - Enhancements to the existing South Milledge Facilities
  • Green space - New pedestrian walk ways surrounding existing facilities
  • And much, much more
I think this is at least $150 million in new facilities, and it could easily be $200 million in new stuff. I'm basing that estimate on what UGA spent to renovate Gate 6, build the existing 600 level for Sanford Stadium, the cost of the new Gamecock Baseball stadium, estimates for indoor practice facilities at other schools, the sky rocketing cost of construction materials and the length of the "wish list."

It's too much to get into everything all at once. So I'll point you to two key PDF files on the Athens Banner Herald's Web Site. This is a 21 page overview of most facility enhancements. The second PDF looks specifically at the Butts-Mehre renovation.

My quick thoughts:
  • Indoor Practice Facility - The location and size of the facility suggest that it would not be the "Death Star" $35 million homage to football that had originally been discussed. It looks more functional than monumental. As a guy vehemently opposed to constructing an IPF, I could live with a modest facility. Although, I still think it's pissing away money. (Image: South Milledge Complex. The indoor practice facility is in the upper right corner. Click to enlarge)

  • Stegeman - It's exactly what Stegeman needs. Stegeman doesn't need to be enlarged. It needs to be modernized with 21st century restrooms, concessions and concourses, and it needs a look and feel similar to the new Practice Facility. This would get us there. (click to enlarge)

  • Sanford Expansions - The Reed Alley renovations look excellent. I actually think they were in the plans from 2003 or so, but they somehow got cut. Check out the PDF to see it. However, I think expanding the 600 level all the way around will be incredibly expensive, and I think those seats will SUCK. Luckily, I'm not going to sit in what do I care.
More thoughts later. Check out the ABH article and then read this PDF.

It's interesting.



Anonymous said...

I really like the Stegeman look and the whole Reed Alley thing.

One thing about the IPF is that it looks like they are trying to tailor it so it can be used for T&F events as well, which seems to be getting a lot of bang for your buck

Anonymous said...

Seriously, how much can they charge for seats that are 500 feet away from any part of the field? The tops of the corners of the expansion would give you a better view of the blimp than the field.

NCT said...

It looks as though kudzu hill will be history, especially in the option that reorients home plate.

Where is this "South Milledge Complex"? Are we cutting away part of the Oconee National Forest on the "back end" of Lake Herrick? I'm confused.

The Coliseum concept looks cool.

NCT said...

Never mind. Found what I guess is the "South Milledge Complex" -- outside the perimeter across Milledge from the University golf course. It's been a while since I've been out that way.

Anonymous said...

"Seriously, how much can they charge for seats that are 500 feet away from any part of the field?"

Roughly $50 bucks a season package, because they will most likely be student seats. They will either do this because:

A) they want to offer more student seats in an attempt to appease the freshmen, sophmores, and juniors who didn't get a full package AGAIN this year.


B) They'll take away some of the better student seating and replace it with these news expansion seats, further screwing the students who make the school in another attempt to make the almighty dollar

Anonymous said...

Oh please, oh please, oh please do Stegeman first! I like the sketchings for it a lot. I also want the new baseball stadium and the additions to Sanford. But please, please make Stegeman not look like a bad prop from a 60's Jane Fonda movie!

One thing about the Sanford expansion though. That one support for the 3rd level in the East endzone? It doesn't look good and would make me nervous sitting up there. I know there options aren't great though.

Anonymous said...

As someone who has visited Yawkey Way in the past year, I really love the proposal for Reed Alley. I think it would be a great addition to our beautiful stadium. Seating 100k+ doesn't interest me nearly as much as keeping up and improving Sanford.
Also, I go to a lot of Mens & Womens basketball. The updating of Stegeman would be fantastic.
Go Dawgs!

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is incredible.

I agree with everything you said Paul (IPF, etc.) and I agree with the sentiments regarding the new proposed seats being so far from the field. I know people have an attachment to the bridge, but I would prefer to just wrap that section around. It would do wonders for our stadium environment (noise) and I think if you build it right you can keep some of the view.

Also, looking at some of the proposals, are they building OVER East Campus Road and having a train station at that part of the stadium? That's crazy.

I am a fan of everything except two things: I would like to see a better concept for the additional seating in Sanford. I also don't like how they're taking away the outfield positioning of Kudzu Hill from the baseball stadium redesigns. I see no reason why they can't update it while keeping the same orientation.

Anonymous said...

Regarding a new baseball stadium, would it even be doable? They're proposing tearing down Foley and building a new one, which means that you would begin destruction of Foley the third week of June (following Super Regional weekend) and would need to have a new stadium complete and ready to play by late February of the next year. I just don't think that can be done.

The other option, I guess, would be to play a season at Gwinnett but the scheduling issues there would be an absolute nightmare. I guess if that is the case we need to make sure we're playing there during an odd year so we don't screw ourselves out of a trip to Omaha that year.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on the IPF, PWD- just throw a collapsible bubble over the Field Turf practice field and be done with it.

Unknown said...

IPF is awesome PWD! The life blood of a program is recruiting. and recruits like the idea of IPF. But then again I think us and Florida don't have one and we both seem to recruit well.

All i know is Mark Richt wants one. And what he wants, he should get.

Anonymous said...

The 600 seats are a waste of money. There are plenty of renovations to the stadium that need to be done like the reed alley project.

Squarebush said...

Look at the first proposal for a new Foley. Home plate is in right field. No more Kudzu Hill.

Not saying that it played into the thinking for that set up, but how much thought (if any) do you think was put into blocking the view that the houses on the hill had? You know the NCAA has to hate what goes on up there and I would think that the brass in the UGA AA would rather not have to worry about it.

Hobnail_Boot said...

I honestly thought I'd be the first to say something about the re-orientation of Foley II. I'm glad to see others aren't sold on that.

The Reed Alley and Magill additions look really good.

BulldawgJosh said...

The South Milledge complex is way down where the current softball stadium is.

I like almost all of the plans, but I'm adamantly against both of their designs for Foley Field and how they eliminate kudzu hill. I used to live across from foley, and love that place. I'm all for expanding it, but I feel that they could do it without killing the hill.

It also says there will be a track and field facility at the South Milledge Complex, so what happens to the track on Lumpkin?

ChiliDawg said...

I would maybe guess that is where some of the Butts Mehre work would take place

Anonymous said...

Widening of the concourses on the 300 level should be one of the first Sanford priorities. There is no room up there.

Anonymous said...

I like almost all the proposed expansion ESPECIALLY the Steg and Reed Alley..but here is what gonna have to happen with Sanford Stadium..the ONLY way to increase general seating with seats that are not in Oconee County is to close in the west endzone..I know LOTS of people dont like that idea of losing the view inside the stadium but thats the only way we can get general seats and increase more season inflation happens its gonna cost more to keep current seats in your season ticket plan..I'm torn about closing the west endzone but I also dont want the price of my seats to increase faster than I can afford to keep them..I SERIOULS would hate to view a game from an expanded 600 level over East Campus Rd.

Anonymous said...

sorry about the 2 spelling errors LOL

Anonymous said...

you can't factor in the cost of the baseball stadium at South Carolina. The planning on that (as with most of their athletic facailities) was done by a pack of monkeys locked away in the basement of the roundhouse. They tried building into a bed of solid rock, had disputes with the city over whether or not to make it compatible for a minor league baseball team, and all sorts of other things which made the project completely fubar.

Anonymous said...

Has no one thought of lowering the field? Like Ohio state did. The knock I have on sanford is that the stands are two far away from the field. What if they lowered the field and added the seats at the bottom?

Anonymous said...

I am a stadium buff and loved the Stegman and Reed Alley Plans. East endzone plan at Stanford is not attractive. We can raise the west endzone bridge 10-15 feet, turn it into a plaza tied to the student center, and build seats up to the plaza level. The stadium remains open, we improve the pedestrian bottleneck, and we increase our capacity a couple of thousand seats. The seats in the 600 level are terrible.

Anonymous said...

All of it is great and very much needed. I could get into comments about all of the facilities since they all need updating. As for your comments on the IPF being not needed, I strongly disagree. As a former player, an IPF is very much needed. There are much smaller programs and worse programs that have these buildings and we don't. I do not follow the logic on that. You need to put in money in order to keep the team up to the top level. The IPF is VERY much needed. Any day the weather outlook was bad (lightning and such) as to where it would be unsafe for players to be on the field, the team would hop on a bus and go somewhere else depending on availability. If the Falcons did not need their indoor facility all the way out in Flowery Branch, then the team would bus the hour and a half plus to get out there just so that a true practice could be held. If this option was not available then the team would go over to the Ramsey Center where various basketball courts and such would be shut off for practice. Countrary to what you apparently think, a football practice is not beneficial under these cirsumstances. There is no way to run any special teams plays, passing is restricted because of short, narrow rooms with low ceilings. So only thing that can really be accomplished is practicing running plays, which are also not as effective since I am not sure about you, but I have never seen a football game held in tennis shoes on wood floors. And the defense gets minimal work since tackling is out of the question on the wood floors. I could go on all day about how this facility is needed and how your comments are ignorant, but I will stop there.

-Football Letterman 2007

Unknown said...

Football Letterman 2007,

I appreciate the hard work you put into making UGA a great program.

But 5-6 practices a year with bad weather for $30+ million is not a good return.

Florida doesn't have one. They seem to be doing ok.

Anonymous said...

to me the expansion of sanford stadium looks stupid. why not enclose the other end and make it look balanced?

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