Neyland upgrade a bargain

Neyland upgrade a bargain

Posted: Thursday, July 17, 2008 7:01 pm
By: AP

By BETH RUCKER Associated Press Writer KNOXVILLE (AP) — If the Tennessee athletic department decided to replace the 87-year-old Neyland Stadium with a new one, it might cost up to $800 million. So by comparison, the $200 million transformation the existing stadium is undergoing is a bit of a bargain. “We’re getting good bang for our buck,” UT senior associate athletic director for external operations John Currie said. Work on the $26 million second phase of the five-phase project to completely update the stadium is on track to be completed by the Volunteers’ Sept. 13 home opener against UAB, officials said Wednesday while showing off some of the new features. One of the most obvious renovations will be new brick trim around the football field and brick pavers in place of the hedges that once flanked the sides of the field. Behind the scenes, the stadium’s water, electric and sewer infrastructure is being enhanced. The concourse on the west side of the stadium is being improved with upgraded concession stands and restrooms to match the north concourse, completed during the previous phase. The Vols are getting a new locker room with rooms for medical and training staff and former players will have use of a new letterman’s club room before games. There’s also a new media center for postgame interviews. Future phases will include upgrades of the other concourses. By 2010, brick will replace the concrete and steel facade of the stadium, brick pavers will be in place in the current concrete plazas at gates 21 and 10, and a statue of the stadium’s namesake coach, the late Gen. Robert Neyland, will be erected. Published in The Messenger 7.17.08

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