University of Texas officials are expected to take a major step forward on the path to renovating Royal-Memorial Stadium this week.
The UT System Board of Regents are scheduled to hear a presentation from president Gregory L. Fenves and athletic director Chris Del Conte during Thursday’s meeting. The south end zone expansion project is scheduled to cost approximately $175 million, according to the agenda book posted on Monday.
The school will raise $125 million of the total cost through gifts, according to UT documents. Pledges totaling $30 million have already been obtained. The final $50 million will be financed through debt markets and repaid from “premium seating and ticket sales.”
No taxpayer dollars and no tuition money will be used in the project, according to the school.
If regents approve the project, construction could begin in 2019 with a projected completion date in July 2021.
University officials declined comment on Monday about the stadium expansion project. Typically, they do not speak about matters going before the regents.
Specifics about what the expansion have been kept under wraps. But Del Conte and other officials have been open about their desire to have more club seating.
According to UT documents, the new expansion will include “new suites, clubs, loge boxes, sponsor amenities, modified fan seating, and new coaches’ offices as well as additional loading docks and facilities support spaces.”
The UT agenda book states the expansion project will complete the stadium bowl. Just like the previous expansion in 2008, “the addition at the south end zone will provide an enhanced game day experience for fans and create additional revenue for Texas athletics,” the documents state.
“This project will further support student athlete recruitment and retention and help keep football revenues at a high level,” according to the agenda book.
In April, the American-Statesman first reported on a document that shed light on UT’s wants and wishes.
Drawings sent to UT alumni included field-level suites in the south end zone, similar to those at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Players could walk through the club from their locker room and run onto the field.
UT officials have stressed the goal isn’t to build a stadium larger than Texas A&M’s Kyle Field, which now has a seating capacity of 102,733 after its latest expansion. Texas officials have stressed this project would be different from just adding more bleachers.
It’s unclear how the construction project will change UT’s final capacity. The current listed capacity at Royal-Memorial Stadium is 100,119.
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