UT announced details on the $175 million south end zone expansion to Darrell K Royal Texas Memorial Stadium last week along with the name of the architecture firm set to design the expansion.
Additions to the south end zone include a new screen, renovations to the student seating area, a student terrace and concession stand, and a glass-walled building housing multiple tiers of suites.
“When the project is finished, everyone will be very pleased with it,” said Jim Shackelford, director of UT’s Capital Planning and Construction. “It will be a definite improvement to the south end zone of the stadium, and it will in essence complete the master plan that was envisioned more than 12 years ago for the stadium as a whole.”
UT’s Board of Regents voted to add the expansion back in August, but it was not until last week that Populous, a Kansas-based architecture firm, was chosen to design the project.
“The modern game day experience is about quality, not quantity,” said Sherri Privitera, Populous principal-in-charge for the project, in a press release. “Fans want unique experiences in an authentic place. This is a game-changing project. From fully enclosing the stadium for a more intimate atmosphere to the impactful in-seat Longhorn logo, it is the ultimate celebration of the University of Texas.”
The construction will also update the older parts of the Moncrief-Neuhaus Athletic Center, which is housed in the south end of the stadium.
“I know it will provide an enhanced atmosphere for our fans and students, which will be tremendous, but we’re also really proud of what our players are going to have access to as a result of it,” head football coach Tom Herman said in a press conference. “The locker room and weight room won’t change a ton because we just completed upgrades there, but everything else in the south end zones will be different, better and as good as there is in the country to train our players.”
Construction will begin in 2019 with the athletic center and is planned to end before kickoff in 2021. Shackelford said details about how construction will be handled during the interim period home games have not been determined.
Scott Fields, management information systems sophomore and Big Ticket holder, said although he will not be able to enjoy the completed facility during his time at UT, he is excited for the renovation.
“The most recent (photo renderings) I saw looked pretty good,” Fields said. “The concrete around the seating area will keep the sound in, which is what I want. I want it to be as loud as possible.”