Sporting News – December 17, 2015 – By Don Muret –
Auburn University officials are seeking fan feedback for a proposed upgrades at Jordan-Hare Stadium after making adjustments to the project.
Tigers Unlimited, the fundraising division within Auburn athletics, hasemailed a survey to about 5,000 season-ticket holders to solicit responses for the school’s plan for a makeover of the North end. It could potentially include new club seats, an expanded concourse, a new video board, recruiting lounge and other amenities. The feedback will help re-shape the project and determine the final cost for the renovations, according to school officials.
The new survey comes after Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs told local media last summer he was not happy with the initial design at a projected cost of $145 million. Sports architect HOK, the same firm that designedAuburn Arena, the school’s 5-year-old basketball facility, teamed with a local firm and national consultant JMI Sports to develop a feasibility study for potential stadium renovations.
Those improvements included new club seats in both end zones while relocating Auburn’s locker room to the north end where it would adjoin the visitors locker room. A high-end club would be built on the north end with a wider concourse, bigger, padded seats and better food and beverage options, Jacobs told SportsBusiness Journal in December 2014.
Six months later, HOK’s team was instructed to go back to the drawing board to come up with a new design. The survey will go a long way toward developing the revamped plan, including revenue generation tied to the sale of new premium seats.
“Before we move forward and ask for approval on such a major project, it’s vitally important for us to reach out to the Auburn Family,” Jacobs said in astatement on the department’s website. “This survey is critical because it will help us determine the level of interest and support for a potential renovation to Jordan-Hare Stadium. The level of interest and support in a major stadium renovation must be substantial for it to be feasible.”
Pending results of the survey and approval of the renovation of the Auburn Board of Trustees, construction could start after the 2016 season, a source told AL.com. To this point, the project is still in the preliminary stages and the final cost is unknown, Jacobs said through the school’s website. “Nothing has been approved and nothing is final,” Jacobs said in the online statement. “We are sharing the renderings with donors so they can see the vision of what the North end zone could be.”
In addition to the targeted email campaign, Auburn fans can provide feedback on the plans by visiting the Tigers Unlimited website.
“We want their input and feedback, and I encourage them to offer it,” Jacobs said. “Fan and donor feedback has driven a lot of what we’ve done with the gameday experience that has proven to be popular and helped make Auburn’s gameday experience the best in the nation.”
Installing a new video board in the North end zone would provide a bookend to the $14 million screen in the South end zone that debuted for the 2015 season that drew rave reviews from fans attending games at Jordan-Hare Stadium.