I discussed this subject with Coach Dickey before he retired and after today's article in the News-Sentinel, I'll have to take it up with you.
There is an old maxim of architecture: "Form follows function". I could care less about stair towers looking like Ayres Hall. That does nothing to improve the function of the stadium.
Yes, the restroom facilities certainly need upgrading, but the next most important thing to fans is a JumboTron at the north end. I would estimate at least 25% of the fans (those in the south end zone) cannot see the JumboTron or if they can, it is with some degree of difficulty. Please reconsider your priorities and quit treating the south end zone fans like step-children.
Thank you, Bill Lauer
Mike Hamilton: Mr Lauer - Thank you for your comments. The South endzone will be treated far differently than step children in this plan. Over half of the entire project costs-59 million dollars will be designated for the South endzone. New concourses, restrooms, concessions, street level entrance for those in the lower level, seven elevators for those in the upper level, 275 feet to walk up stairs to upper deck instead of 1551 feet of ramps, an entirely new concourse at vomitory level over 3 times as wide as current concourse - these are some of the changes. Our current jumbotron cost 8 million dollars and the company that installed it went bankrupt. ASM now owns our signage rights and is not currently interested in installing another one, not only for costs sake but for the significant adjustments that would have to be made to the north roof to accomodate it. We will need some ticket holders to move from the south endzone during this expansion process. If you are interested so that you can have a new location from which to see the current jumbotron, please let us know.
Thanks for your support.
My only question is: Is watching UT football for the "average" fan going to be a thing of the past? We have the box seats for those wealthy enough to get them & now Club Seats for another group of wealthy fans. I know we who can only afford the donation we now make will probably be sent to the top deck. It just seems to me that all the years other fans have come & supported the team with their money and cheers will now have to watch from the top deck while our wealthy donors and state and local politicians will again enjoy the BEST seats. Somehow this doesn't see fair, but then I guess we do live in an age of "have & have nots". The plan looks very good, but I do not see the need for Club Seats when after all these years we managed to sit on bleachers, cheer & enjoy the game. Just a comment from a long time fan.
Mike Hamilton: Hi Evelyn, Thanks for your e-mail. Any season ticket affected by the renovations will be moved to other areas of the stadium without having to change their giving status. We will try our best to accomodate those fans in comparable seats (i.e. if they are in the lower level, we will try to keep them in the lower level.) The south end zone club seats will not begin construction until funding is available and several campus master planning logistics are addressed, which gives us several years to work with those affected to re-assign them.
As for the club seats, they are being added to be the primary funding source for the renovations, providing more than $34.1 million up front plus an additional annual revenue of $3 million towards the estimated $107 million in renovations through club seat gifts, annual donations and fees for those seats.
Thanks for your continued support.
Dear Mr. Hamilton,
My name is Andrew Whitworth. I am 12 years old.
I think Neyland Stadium is the coolest place on earth.I like your idea to renovate Neyland, but I think if you can you should not lesson the capacity. Could you also put a larger drawing of Neyland after it is renovated.
Your Friend, Andrew Whitworth
GO BIG ORANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mike Hamilton: Hi Andrew, Thanks for your e-mail. In order to pay for the renovations, we will be adding club seats in the upper deck on the east side and in the lower level of the south end zone. Unfortunately as those seats are added it will reduce the capacity of the stadium. In order to keep capacity over 101,000, we will be adding 3,529 new seats in the upper deck of the south end zone, which will be for our visitor's to use. You can view renderings of the stadium at www.utsports.com and click on the Neyland Stadium Master Plan icon on the right side of the screen.
Thanks for your support of the Vols!