Nov. 21, 2009
The University of Tennessee Athletics Department announced Saturday that the second portion of Neyland Stadium's Phase III renovations begin Monday.
The Phase III renovations were stretched across two years. The first portion was completed before this year's Sept. 5 opener against Western Kentucky. The second portion is projected to be completed in time for the 2010 campaign.
During this off-season, crews will create a new Gate 21 entry plaza, add two elevators to the northwest side of the stadium, add brick and wrought iron façade work along the north and west sides of the stadium, as well as construct the Tennessee Terrace. The Tennessee Terrace features 1,800 chair-back seats on the upper west sideline and offers a private, climate-controlled concourse. Crews also are preparing a site for a new statue of Gen. Robert Neyland, which will be added along the west side of the stadium next November.
"In November 2004, we unveiled the master plan for Neyland Stadium to serve as a long-term solution to issues currently facing our stadium," UT men's athletics director Mike Hamilton. "These renovations are helping prepare Neyland Stadium for the next 75 years of service to the Volunteer nation."
Upon the 2010 completion of Phase III, 60 percent of the Neyland Stadium renovations will be finished. The completed Phase III renovations include:
- Renovation of west sideline top lower level concourse
- Removal of scissor ramps leading to west upper deck
- Addition of elevators and stairwells on west side to increase fan accessibility and improve traffic flow
- Improvements to west tower, including skybox and press center updates
- Construction of West Club
- Creation of Gate 21 Plaza
- Two new elevators on north end of west side
- Brick and wrought iron façade along north and west outside of Neyland Stadium
- Statue of Gen. Neyland added to west side entrance
- Construction of Tennessee Terrace
The timing of Neyland Stadium Phases IV and V is contingent upon available funding and the university's master plan facility schedule.
Neyland Stadium Master Plan Background
The Neyland Stadium Master Plan was approved by the UT Board of Trustees in November 2004 and serves as the long-term solution to issues facing the historic stadium. The project's goals are:
- Maintaining collegiate integrity of stadium and recognizing heritage of Tennessee football
- Taking fiscally responsible approach to renovations
- Improving and modernizing concourse, bathroom and concession areas for all UT fans
- Providing improved infrastructure for basic amenities - water, electric and sewer
- Enhancing safety for fans while addressing ADA compliance issues
Phase I was completed for the 2006 football season and included extensive infrastructure work, renovations in the north lower concourse and construction of the East Club. Phase II renovations were completed before the 2008 season and included the west lower concourse, the oldest part of the stadium that was constructed in 1921. The improvements increased the number of restrooms and concessions stands in this area while enhancing and making the fan experience safer through wider pedestrian areas, improved lighting and new way finding signage. Other elements of Phase II included renovations to the Peyton Manning Locker Room, the addition of a field level Lauricella Lettermen's Room and new Stokely Family Media Center, as well as brick work around the Shields-Watkins field level.