FAYETTEVILLE, AR (U of A) – Razorback Athletics will seek approval from the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees this week to move forward with the full design and cost estimate for a Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium renovation, including an addition in the north end zone of the stadium.
Approval will also be requested for the department to begin accepting commitments for capital contributions and gifts for the new suites, loge boxes and club seats that would be part of the project. If approved, the department will bring the project back to the Board of Trustees a final time with an update on commitments made for capital contributions and ticket sales, along with an intent resolution for the bonding requirements for completing the project.
"After analyzing extensive information produced as part of our feasibility study and gathering feedback from our donors and fans, we are ready to move forward with the next step in a major renovation at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium," Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. "The Razorbacks are the tie that binds our state together. Our fans are loyal and passionate and we want to provide them an on-campus stadium as distinctive as the Razorback itself. We want to complete the full connection of the stadium, from the north to the south and from the east to the west, while further enhancing one of the nation's finest facilities. We have heard from our fans that they want seating options and amenities available at varying price levels, to meet the evolving demands of the Razorback fan base. We are prepared and ready to initiate the process for a full design and cost estimate, contingent on approval from the Board of Trustees."
The scope of the proposed project will include a north addition, updates to existing areas, and a new Broyles Athletic Center.
– North end zone. The north addition will include new suites, loge boxes, club seats, and club areas. The east and west concourses will connect to allow flow of patrons around the stadium, as well as provide new concessions and restrooms. Additional and expanded entrances will improve patron flow. A new gameday locker room, training room, and pre/post game support rooms will be added for the football team.
– Stadium updates. New elevators will be installed at the northeast and northwest corners to service the existing east and west suites, club areas, and upper level seating. Existing suites and club areas will be renovated and updated. A new video board will be added at the south end of the stadium. Security and safety systems will be enhanced.
– Frank Broyles Athletic Center. The Broyles Center will be affected by the larger north end zone project, and will be rebuilt in the new north end. The Broyles Center will still house the administrative offices, along with space that can be used for ticketing, merchandise, and Razorback history and traditions.
"This project is about improving the gameday experience for every Razorback fan," Long said. "The addition of a north end zone will connect fans throughout the stadium. Renovated suite and club areas will provide a variety of options for fans. Reducing prices in the upper level of the stadium and providing a lower priced standing room only ticket will give every Arkansan an opportunity to cheer on the Hogs. This is the next step for Razorback Football and the legacy of the on-campus Home of the Razorbacks."
A preliminary cost estimate for the project is $160 million. This project will be funded entirely by athletics revenues, capital gifts, and bond proceeds from a future bond issue. Season ticket and single game ticket price adjustments will also be implemented. Bonds will be amortized using athletic revenues generated from the stadium. No university funds will be required to complete this project.
In 2009, the Department of Athletics hired specialty consultants to develop a Facilities Master Plan for Razorback Athletics. Included in the master plan was a general concept and program for the expansion of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium at the north end.
In 2013, the Department of Athletics brought together a project team to further study the feasibility of a north end zone expansion, additional updates needed within the stadium, along with a market study for the demand of different types of seating and amenities at home football games. The project team has included Populous (Architect), Polk Stanley Wilcox (Architect), CSL (Feasibility Study), Legends (Cost Estimator and Sales Consultant), and Facilities Management. The department committed to bring the project back to the Board of Trustees after the study was completed, and prior to moving forward with the project.