TUSCALOOSA – Big changes are coming to Bryant-Denny Stadium, as well as other Alabama athletic department facilities, as part of the initial stage of the program’s projected $600 million Crimson Standard project unveiled last August.
Only, they’re not as originally planned, and already a little over budget.
Nevertheless, the University of Alabama Board of Trustees approved revised plans during Friday morning’s meeting to renovate Bryant-Denny Stadium, the Mal Moore Athletic Complex and Rhoads Stadium that would increase its budget by more than $18.5 million, $17 million of which is earmarked for Alabama’s home football stadium.
The revised and approved Bryant-Denny Stadium budget will increase from $75.46 to $92.47 million, while the Mal Moore Athletic Complex renovations budget is increased from $14.6 to $16.1 million. The Rhoads Stadium budget held steady at $3 million, placing the total cost for Stage 1 of the Crimson Standard initiative at $111.6 million.
Among the approved changes to the Bryant-Denny renovations include:
(1) Replacing the four corner scoreboards with upgraded boards that are approximately 60-percent larger than the current ones, as opposed to the addition of a much-larger single scoreboard in the south end zone
(2) Creating a student concourse on the ground level near the southeast entrance instead of a student terrace in the upper bowl that features concessions, restrooms, and social spaces with televisions.
(3) Two new stair towers on the west side of the stadium leading to the suite and club sections and moving the loge box seating section on Level 6 to the southwest corner rather than the south end.
The renovations are expected to reduce seating but not significantly following the removal of the significantly larger video board.
Among the original plans still in effect include upgrading the home locker room, recruiting lounge, and entrance tunnel to the field, and the installation of a tunnel that leads directly from the Walk of Champions to the team locker room.
Renovations also include upgrading Bryant-Denny’s existing suites and club sections on Level 7, replacing the current press box with a new Founders Club section with individual suites that will feature private restrooms and kitchenettes. The press box will be moved to the east side of the stadium.
The revised plan for the Mal Moore Athletic Complex includes eliminating the proposed addition to the strength-and-conditioning side of the building in favor of a single-level addition to the southeast corner. That addition will house the program’s sports science center and relocated hydrotherapy services, as well as reconfiguring the team training and equipment area, team recovery rooms and the football locker room to more efficiently connect with the adjacent areas of the complex. The renovations also include new locker rooms for coaches and staff on the second floor as well as new offices and storage space for staff.
The Rhoads Stadium renovations will include upgrades to both the clubhouse and press box as well as the additions of two suites and an umpire locker room.