University of Tennessee Athletics has partnered with Populous, a global leader in sports architecture and design, to conduct a comprehensive renovation plan and feasibility study for venerable Neyland Stadium. The multi-faceted project will include a facility and technology assessment, new conceptual designs, a market feasibility study, cost estimations, and a financial and funding analysis.
The primary scope of the engagement will evaluate upgrades to the south and east sides of Neyland Stadium including such elements as widening concourses, expanding restrooms, and improving concessions areas.
Additionally, the project will prioritize other stadium enhancements which contribute to the game day experience such as hospitality areas and in-venue technology offerings (additional video displays, state-of-the-art sound system, high density wi-fi delivery, etc.).
The overall project will produce a strategic vision and viable roadmap for modernizing the iconic Knoxville landmark while preserving and extending the rich heritage and legacy of Neyland Stadium.
“The time is right to turn our focus to the long-term investment in Neyland Stadium,” said Dave Hart, Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics. “This process is a critical step in determining the appropriate vision and supporting business model for a significant renovation. The resulting outcomes will serve as a catalyst toward making this vision become a reality.”
Populous, headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., has more than 30 years of experience specializing in the innovative design of sports facilities including more than 80 collegiate football stadiums. Populous most recently completed architectural and design services on Texas A&M’s Kyle Field, Baylor’s McLane Stadium, Oklahoma’s Memorial Stadium, and Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium.
As part of the project, Populous will utilize the services of Convention, Sports, & Leisure (CS&L) to complete a market feasibility study which will assist in determining the number and types of fan amenities and seating preferences to be programmed into the renovation’s conceptual designs. CS&L will directly engage fans and stakeholders in the process to obtain insightful feedback.
“We truly value the tremendous support of our Volunteer fan base,” said Hart. “It is an exciting time to be a Tennessee Volunteer. The enthusiasm surely to surround this project further demonstrates the positive trajectory and momentum behind our program.”
Neyland Stadium has an official capacity of 102,455. Originally constructed in 1921 with a seating capacity of 3,200, Neyland Stadium has undergone 16 expansion projects, and at one point, reached a capacity of 104,079 before being slightly reduced by alterations in the following decade. Most recently, Neyland Stadium underwent a nearly $140 million, three phase renovation initiated after the 2005 football season and concluded prior to the start of the 2010 football season. Neyland Stadium is the fifth largest football stadium in the United States and remains an economic driver for the region of East Tennessee.