KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Plans to renovate Neyland Stadium are back on track. The University of Tennessee released its revised plans for the football stadium with the hope of completing the upgrades by fall 2023.
UT released renderings of Neyland Stadium on Friday.
Tennessee Director of Athletics Phillip Fulmer announced in 2017 that earlier plans to update the stadium were put on hold to review and prioritize parts of the project.
“I appreciate the patience of our fans and donors as we’ve worked through a very thorough review of our plans to start preparing Neyland Stadium for its next 100 years of service,” Fulmer said. “I’m very pleased about where we’ve landed. It was important to me that the earliest work of the upcoming renovations focused on areas that impacted the fan experience for everyone in the stadium.”
Upgrades coming to Neyland focus mainly on the older south end of the stadium. Improvements include: new entry plazas on the south side of the stadium, improved security, expansion of the main concourse, improvement of restrooms, upgrades to concession stands and concession offerings, an on-site kitchen, seating alternatives, and technology upgrades, including an improved sound system.
The first update will be to the sound system prior to the 2020 season.
“After addressing what we identified as immediate and key enhancements for all of our fans stadiumwide, the renovations then transition to other important features that will positively impact program recruiting and fan comfort and enjoyment,” Fulmer said.
2021 marks Neyland Stadium’s centennial. Plans are to renovate the Lauricella Center for Letter Winners and Wolf-Kaplan Hospitality Center, and to convert the media facilities on the stadium’s west side into an open-air donor lounge.
Facilities for working press on gamedays will be relocated to the stadium’s east side, in closer proximity to the Stokely Family Media Center. Broadcast media — TV and radio crews — will remain in the current west-side location.
Major renovations will end in fall 2023. Plazas at Gates 4 and 10, similar to the plaza at Gate 21, will be completed. Also at Gate 10 an indoor/outdoor gathering space with concessions will be built.
The renovations were approved by the UT Board of Trustees in November 2017. The $180 million budget will remain the same and funding will not require any state funds of subsidies.