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Archive for Friday, August 21, 2009

Stadium renovations in exploratory phase

August 21, 2009

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Possible plans to carry out considerable renovations to the east side of Kansas University’s Memorial Stadium are still in the “exploratory phase,” KU associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said Thursday.

The project, which was first broached during a focus group meeting with donors in March, would potentially add club seating — in the form of box suites — to the stadium’s east side, which currently features only bleacher seating.

Marchiony didn’t give a timetable for the completion of the project — which would be funded entirely by private donations — but did indicate that completion any sooner than the 2011 season would be “ambitious.”

“We’re doing feasibility study, market research, and we need to do research about what, exactly, we can do to that side of the stadium, architecturally,” he said. “... We still have some work to do before the project gets under way.”

The project, if undertaken, would represent the third major upgrade to Memorial Stadium in recent memory. Kivisto Field underwent an $800,000 to $900,000 resurfacing this summer, and plans to install a new scoreboard for the 2010 season were recently passed, as well.

“We think that the scoreboard has served us well, but it’s time to get a new one,” said Marchiony, adding that the cost of the project is not yet known. “It’s time to upgrade. And we plan to do that for 2010.”

In the meantime, he said, the university is in the process of examining the interest in the east-side renovations.

“We think there would be considerable interest,” Marchiony said, “and that’s what we’re gauging now.”

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