Friday afternoon is supposed to be when you release bad news you don’t want anyone to see; Missouri, however, released something pretty awesome yesterday. The school released an update on the proposed renovations to Memorial Stadium’s south end zone, and boy howdy, are these some renovations.
From the MUtigers.com release:
"As we've had the chance to roll our sleeves up and get further into the planning stages, we believe it's a better option to take down the existing south bowl, rather than leaving the structure up and retrofitting around it," said Director of Athletics Jim Sterk. "Our preliminary study suggested that if we go this route, we will have more premium seating opportunities, and it will give us the ability to provide more space for our football program and its daily operations. We've said all along that we are doing this with the intent of making it one of the best facilities in the nation, and that's exactly what we're planning," he said.
Sterk said that the range of the project should come in between $90-100 million in total costs, up from the initial estimate of $75 million. [...]
Over the two-year construction process, the project itself, when combined with Mizzou Athletics' annual economic influence, could provide as much as $700 million in regional economic impact. According to CS&L, (Convention, Sports and Leisure, a consultant firm working with Athletics), as many as 1,200 new jobs will be created because of the project, which could result in as much as $44 million in new salaries.
The new south end zone complex would feature the entire Mizzou Football operations center — offices, locker room, lounge, meeting rooms, training/weight room — plus premium seating, new concourses/restrooms/concessions, and a much needed new score board display.
The release says the complex would also bring “as many as 5,000 new seats closer to the field,” which was not the impression I got from the drawings above but would be useful. One of the problems with the stadium in general is that the stadium bowl spreads out at a pretty mild angle. Close-to-the-field seating could be useful from a noise perspective as much as a viewing perspective.
The release also mentions that final capacity for the stadium, upon project completion, is not yet determined. The renderings give you the impression that seating could shrink a little bit. Not sure if I’m a fan of that long-term, but ... well ... now is not the worst time to cut some seats in the short-term, at least...
Some other notes from Friday’s press gathering on the topic (which had minimal attendance because holy crap, Columbia was a sheet of ice yesterday):
Change of plans for Mizzou south end zone facility: MU will take down the existing south bowl of Memorial Stadium and build around it— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) December 16, 2016
Sterk: It's a better option to take down the existing south bowl rather than retrofit around it.— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) December 16, 2016
Sterk: Field-level club, private club and 20-24 suites will be included in new seating. Coaches office on top.— Tod Palmer (@todpalmer) December 16, 2016
Sterk: Gifts for this facility are in mid $40 millions. Goal is to hit the $50 milliion range. More donations = fewer revenue bonds needed— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) December 16, 2016
Jim Sterk says 2019 season is the goal for this project to be completed— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) December 16, 2016
Process of selecting an architect and construction company is underway. Set for approval from Board of Curators in February.— Tod Palmer (@todpalmer) December 16, 2016
Sterk: MU is unsure if south bowl will come down before the 2017 season or later. Architects will help make those decisions— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) December 16, 2016
Odom: "This project for us is a game-changer." Flow of the building, amenities for academics, training, etc., will benefit players.— Tod Palmer (@todpalmer) December 16, 2016