The university announced InfoCision Stadium will open Sept. 12 versus Kentucky. That's 772 days from now.
Click this link to view the renderings of the stadium.
Today's celebration included the cheerleaders, band and Zippy. I don't know if I have ever seen J.D. Brookhart so excited -- although almost every speaker suggested his team better win the Fiesta Bowl.
Mack Rhoades said they will build the nicest stadium in the country -- not the biggest, but the nicest.
While InfoCision -- owned by generous donor and alumnus Gary Taylor -- has the naming rights for the stadium, the FieldTurf playing surface will be called Summa Field.
Here are other details you may not have known...
Construction will begin October 2007, despite vice president
Ted Curtis' prediction that the university will accumulate all land by the end of the year.
The loge seats will be open-air, but covered. From the renderings, they appear to be an outstanding place to watch football.
The press box tower will be seven stories. Level 1 is the concourse, 2-4 is 45,000 square feet of academic space, 5 is the lobby for the loge and club seats, 6 is the suites and 7 is the press box.
And yes, There will be lights. They will be beyond the seating areas, which is typical for everywhere but the Rubber Bowl.
Curtis and Rhoades do not believe parking will be a problem. They also have targeted two additional areas for future parking facilities. One is in the southeast corner of campus. The other is just east of the stadium, where a parking deck is possible. Those new lots would add 2,500 spaces.
Under the university's parking calculus, each car comes to a football game with an average of three occupants. For a 30,000-seat stadium, you need about 10,000 spots for sell-outs. The university has 10,500 spots. Then you have private parking. Then you have the city's downtown parking with possible shuttles. This will not be a problem, people.
Tailgating. It's my favorite part about Saturdays in fall. The university expects people to tailgate in the university's surrounding green space. It will be the "true collegiate tailgating experience," Curtis said. I asked him about whether the campus will stay dry. He said that's up to the board of trustees. ** A dry campus can't sell booze at InfoCision Stadium. **
In the end, it will cost the university a total of $5 million to buy the parcels of land for the stadium. That includes possible legal fees, demolition, etc. Some business owners want to stay put. With this train rolling, I don't see how that's possible. Curtis seemed very confident any eminent domain court proceeding would be a quick victory for the university.