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Success Brings Renovations at Vanderbilt
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt University)
Posted Jun 19, 2012
Much has been said about the success that Vanderbilt enjoyed on the court, field, and track during the 2011-12 academic year. That success is now being parlayed into an off season which is seeing a host of improvements and upgrades to the schools facilities which will see the only private university in the SEC have playing surfaces and amenities to match up with the best in the conference.
With a Liberty Bowl appearance behind them, and a recruiting class which is shaping up to be the best in decades, there is a very positive atmosphere around the Commodores football program this summer. That vibe of general improvement is being mirrored by the stadium, which is being laid with new field turf and getting new lighting. In addition, the open end zone is being turned into a grassy berm for fans to sit and enjoy the game in a really old school college atmosphere. The grass for this project is the turf which is being pulled up from the field.
The costly change from grass to field turf at baseball’s Hawkins Field is 99.9% covered by an anonymous donation, showing that alums and commercial backers are getting behind the school’s push for increased athletic success. New Jumbotrons are being installed both at Memorial Gym and
Stadium, the latter being seen as the most important of all the renovations. These new displays will be larger, clearer, and brighter, and will help enhance the game day experience for fans who now expect big information screens at games.
Further improvements planned include new meeting and locker rooms for all sports, and a large new indoor practice facility for the football team. Vice Chancellor David Williams has also commented on how the next phase of improvements will include improving basic seating at the football stadium, as well as a complete overhaul of the luxury seats and press box.
The whole plan is seen as key to improving the overall fan experience at all Vanderbilt sports. As with any school, increased TV exposure is making it more difficult to sell tickets, and by offering more luxury amenities to even the average spectator the stands are more likely to be filled.
Vanderbilt may be the school with the smallest enrollment in the SEC, but more and more that “small-market” thinking is being kicked to the curb by an administration that wants to matter in every athletic contest.
(Photo by Whitney D.)
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