BEVO BEAT Football

Document reveals Texas officials’ $140 million vision for Royal-Memorial Stadium expansion

New south end zone expansion would feature premium suites, game-day parking and totally remake the coaching offices

Posted April 13th, 2018

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Texas officials are moving forward on a south end zone expansion of Royal-Memorial Stadium, putting a projected cost of $140 million on a project that’s still in the infancy stage.

The school released a request for qualifications document to any potential construction companies as the first in a three-step process to winning the job. The document gives the first glimpse into what school officials envision at the football stadium.

In a section titled “Project Description, Scope and Budget,” the university outlines how the expansion would “provide the best facilities and services for their student athletes, fans, and staff with a critical eye to the latest in student athlete safety, well-being, and rehabilitation.”

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Construction begins with the demolition of the current south end zone score board, long known as “Godzillatron.”

When it was erected, it was the largest video board in the world. It cost $8 million to build in 2006. As time marched on, replacement parts became expensive. Prior to the 2017 season, the entire video board was replaced.

It’s unclear how a giant video board would be incorporated in the new design. The project documents call for exclusive suites, clubs, an open-air concourse and restrooms. Expansion would also include a banquet kitchen, premium and student seating, private game-day parking and an area solely for Longhorn Network, according to the document.

The expansion would also address new coaching offices, new sports medicine/nutrition areas and a hydrotherapy pool.

Texas coach Tom Herman has indicated his staff would like to be able to see the field from the coaching offices, mostly as a way to dazzle recruits. Currently, the view from the UT coaching staff’s conference room is mostly the back of metal bleachers.

There are no artist renderings included in the document of what the expansion would look like. However, previous construction contracts have included language about how building architecture must be consistent with the current campus design.

According to a timeline on the document, UT will issue formal requests for proposals on May 16 to a short-list of firms under consideration. Those proposals are due back to UT by May 29. An execution agreement is projected to be completed by late June.

If the project continues as scheduled, it’s possible that construction could begin in 2019. The projected would be completed by mid-2021, according to the university’s timeline.

The Royal-Memorial Stadium expansion has long been coveted by multiple school officials. The long-term plan has been to turn the stadium into a complete bowl. It’s currently configured to have an open south end zone, providing a view to downtown Austin.

Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com.

Read the full request for qualifications document from the University of Texas about the expansion of Royal-Memorial Stadium:

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