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December 16, 2008

Stegeman Renovation Rumblings?

Last night on the Dennis Felton Call-in Show on WSB 750 am, Coach Felton was asked about our facilities plan for Stegeman Coliseum. There was first talk about the $30 million practice facility, and then the discussion moved to renovating Stegeman.

First Felton mentioned the new premium concessions area in the arena. If memory serves, it's located near Section F. Felton tried to talk that up, but it sounded like he really wanted to just jump ahead and get to the issue. So he rather uncomfortably spilled the beans that (paraphrase as I understood it):
"Damon Evans wants to renovate Stegeman sooner rather than later. He's possibly looking at the Spring or Summer to begin renovating Stegeman. Depending on funding and other other things."
The plan to renovate Stegeman isn't "news." The new Master Plan for Athletic Facilities was revealed in September, and the high-level plan makes an enormous amount of sense. However, the initial plan made no mention of an estimated start date for any of what looks to be $150-300 million in facilities across the athletic department. If we get started in 2009, that would be at least one year earlier than I would've guessed.

The fundamental problem with Stegeman isn't the seating area. That issue has been slowly resolved over the past decade via new seating, lighting, scoreboards, etc. However, the concourses, concessions, restrooms and facade are depressingly out of date. The facade is particularly dated. The new plan addresses these issues.

Felton's comments alone would only be marginally interesting. However, Damon Evans discussed facility improvements with David Hale in Part 3 of his interview series.
Hale: What are some of the projects you're excited about in the coming year?

Evans: There may be some facilities that could come along, but I don't want to say anything definite because there are things that need board approval. We just completed a master plan that looks at a comprehensive study of all of our physical facilities, and we may be able to start some of those things. The economy is tough, so I want to be mindful of that. But what I want Georgia people to know is that, while there are things that are going to change, what I want them to see coming is that we're going to work harder this year.
Those comments were immediately following a discussion of expectations for basketball and Coach Felton's future. Maybe I'm just being overly hopeful and reading too many tea leaves. But...renovating Stegeman Coliseum is the single biggest opportunity for facility improvement on the table in Athens in my opinion.

If we have to go shopping for a new coach this off season, having designs, budgets and a time line for stadium renovations in hand will make that search dramatically easier and more effective.



Anonymous said...

Would these renovations likely result in a season being played away from Stegeman?

Anonymous said...

Yes, the games will be played in Clarke Central's middle school gym. They said with this move they might have the ability to sell out one or two games this season.

Anonymous said...

This is not the first time I've said this, but I really wish they could lower the court in Stegeman. I wish they would do the same for Sanford also. I am such a huge fan of venu's that put the fans right on top of the action. See UF's facilities... Our football and basketball fans are so far away from the action. By lowering the playing surfices 10 feet, you could add more seeting, and really make both venu's into a hostile enviroment, and a much better spectator venu.

Anonymous said...

I believe the stegeman renovation is 2nd on the list of things to get done. The first thing that will get done is the expansion of butts-mehre. I think construction on that will start this coming summer.

Anonymous said...

To illustrate the point above.
look at the room to expand if we lowered the field


The swamp


The O'dome

Hobnail_Boot said...

Will a new Stegeman facade recruit 17-year-old shooting guards? If so, sign me up.

p.s. The verification word thing is 'phaties'.. My day is going to be downhill from this peak.

Anonymous said...

And while they're at it, can they move the students and/or tv cameras so that the visitors play into to the student section in the second half and that the students can be seen on tv so that the place doesn't look like a mausoleum every freaking game?
At the VaTech game, there was a good student crowd, but across from the camera were just the usual suspects and a lot of people dressed as seats. Can't be good fro the program.

Anonymous said...

Why don't we wait and see if Felton can post his first .500 season after 7 years on the job?

Anonymous said...

Matt Stafford was just on ESPN College Football Live... He was extremely unspecific, but it didn't sound too bad as far as him leaving. He at least mentioned education, family, and another year to play at Georgia important things to him.

Anonymous said...

He also listed "enormous amounts of poon I get on campus" and "Detroit Lions" as reasons not to leave.

Anonymous said...


Why does Syracuse get a free ride for turning down Turner Gill for a douche?

Anonymous said...

How could we get closer to the field in Sanford without doing away with the Hedges? We have to maintain tradition.

Anonymous said...

anon 4:31. The hedges would be moved. The would just be closer to the field. UGA has the most sideline room I have ever seen in a stadium that didn't have a track going around the field. Plus, I don't think it would be that hard to do and think of the quality seating you could add. I'm talking about a couple thousand seats that would be right on top of the field.

Unknown said...

Souletrain and others,

RE: Lowering the Field and Court

There's essentially a creek running underneath Sanford Stadium. I would wager that lowering the field would be extremely difficult from an environmental impact / feasibility standpoint. If it weren't for that, I'd probably agree with you. I'd rather have 10 more rows at the bottom than 10 rows at the top.

As for Stegeman, expanding Stegeman's seating capacity isn't part of the current master plan.

When you look at the real attendance (even during our hottest periods under Harrick) it's a bit difficult to justify a large addition of seats.

Once the new facade has been developed, revamping Steg's interior MIGHT be easier....depending on how they did it.

The fact that the roof is a separate physical structure from the walls and the rest of the building is a MASSIVE win. It allows for tremendous flexibility and cost containment.

Anonymous said...

"Why does Syracuse get a free ride for turning down Turner Gill for a douche?"

Great point. Auburn shit the bed with it's hire, and Gill would seem like a good candidate, but why is AU getting beat up because they didn't hire a black guy? ESPN had a whole show on the racial aspect of the selection, with no evidence, of course, that it had anything to do with AU's choice.

Anonymous said...

Stereotype. The South is Racist and The North is not. I have found in my travels the opposite is true. The media loves to portray the South as backwards and racist. It's so typical. And if a washed up basketball player says it, it has to be true.

Anonymous said...

the SEC will always be under more pressure than any other conference to make a minority hire. Maybe it's that our region has been stereotyped as being more racist than the rest of the country, maybe its because we are the best conference in the country. We have done more in the SEC than most conferences have in regards to hiring minority coaches and ADs but it's still FAR from enough. By the way, I'm all for someone hiring Charlie Strong away from Florida!

Anonymous said...

"Why does Syracuse get a free ride for turning down Turner Gill"

Because Charles Barkley went to Auburn.

Anonymous said...

Bill King of Rivals Radio was saying this morning that he spoke with a reporter (Greg Waters?) who covers the Syracuse beat. He said that the word out of the Syracuse AD was that Gill gave the impression that he wasn't interested in staying at Syracuse very long, using it as a stepping stone. I could be wrong, but I doubt he gave that impression at AU. Lowder doesn't want a black head coach.

Oh, and Syracuse's AD is black. In case you were wondering.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 2:39

Felton has only had 1 season with a record under .500. That season was 2004-2005, when he had just a few scholarship players due to attrition after Harrick and the infamous 5/8 rule.

Anonymous said...

IF Felton can't produce a .500 team IN THE SEC at this point, I see no reason to keep him as our Head BBALL Coach. Obviously, others disagree and are content with futility.

Unknown said...


Playing Off Campus:
No. We won't need to do that. However, the renovations will likely take 2 off seasons to complete from what I understand.

Felton's Future:
From what I understand, no one that matters thinks the current level of success is satisfactory. That's why Felton didn't get an extension following the SEC Tourney title.

Felton's future will likely be decided on March 15, 2009 (give or take 24 hours). He'll either have done enough to get a 4-5 year commitment, or Damon will have to try something different.

All Felton needs to do is win. That's all he ever needed to do.

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