Extra boost added to Neyland Stadium renovations

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) – The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees decide to approve an increase in the budget for the Neyland Stadium renovations Thursday.

The board voted to increase the budget by $108 million. In 2017, the board approved spending $180 million for the renovations and this new approval brings the total project spending up to $288 million, according to the documents.

The budget was subject to UT getting all approvals required by state government officials.

“Further justification for an increase in the project budget is directly attributed to annual inflationary increases in labor, materials and other construction costs—particularly recognized over the last 12-18 months,” officials said.

“The vision for the Neyland Stadium renovations is to deliver an unparalleled experience for the UT community through impactful and resourceful modifications. The revised project scope requires a total budget increase of $108 million, resulting in an overall total project budget of $288 million, which will be fully funded by the department’s updated stadium financial plan. The financial plan demonstrates the department’s ability to fund a list of retained scope from the 2017 approved project, in addition to the additional scope outlined below.”

The university released the following updates being made to the stadium under the new budget:

New/Updated Scope:

• Stadium Wi-Fi – build stadium-wide Wi-Fi network for fan wireless connectivity

• VOLS letters – add two sets of LED back-panel displays to reintroduce a traditional stadium feature

• Founders Suites – add spacious and elegant private suites and lounge

• Restrooms under Gate 11 ramp – provide restrooms for highly trafficked entrance and hospitality area

• Upper north plaza area activation – add food and beverage services and new tiered seating

• Lower west premium club – add a 12,000 sq/ft indoor club space under the new chairback seating deck

• Skybox renovations – update skyboxes, including common spaces, and add operable windows

• Southwest and southeast entries – expand plaza entries and extend exterior concourse zones

• Brick cladding for vomitories and Gate 11 ramp – create cohesive architectural style

Retained Phase I Scope:

• South concourse 1 expansion (including new and additional bathrooms and concessions)

• Kitchen, commissary and loading dock

• South concourse 2 chairback seats

• LED ribbon board replacement

• New state-of-the-art sound system

• North videoboard and plaza area

• West lower bowl chairback seating

Removed/Held Phase I Scope for Future Evaluation/Phases:

• South concourse 3 expansion

• South concourse 2 chairback seats

• New vertical center ramp (remove ramps at Gates 10 and 11)

• Southwest and southeast prominent gate structures

• Outdoor patio and social gathering areas in southwest locations

• Checkerboard Lounge and media relocation

The board will meet again on Friday for their annual meeting to discuss the budget further.

The renovations were expected to be finished before the first home game against Ball State on Sept. 3.

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