An extra boost has been added to the Nieland Stadium renovations

KNOXVILLE, TN (WVLT) – The University of Tennessee’s Board of Trustees voted to approve a budget increase for Neyland Stadium’s renovation Thursday.

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

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

“Further justification for the project’s budget increase is directly attributable to annual inflationary increases in labor, materials and other construction costs – which have been particularly acknowledged over the past 12-18 months,” the officials said.

The vision of the Neyland Stadium renovations is to provide an unparalleled experience to the UT community through efficient and beneficial renovations. The revised project scope requires a total budget increase of $108 million, resulting in a total project budget of $288 million, which will be fully funded through the Department’s Updated Stadium Financial Plan. The financial plan outlines the department’s ability to fund the list of retained scope from the 2017 approved project, as well as the additional scope described below.

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

New/updated domain:

Stadium Wi-Fi – Build a stadium-wide Wi-Fi network to connect fans wirelessly

• VOLS CHARACTERS – Add two sets of backlit LED screens to reintroduce the traditional pitch feature

• Founders Suites – Add spacious and elegant private suites and a lounge

• Toilets at the bottom of Gate 11 ramp – providing toilets for the entrances and the crowded hospitality area

• Activate the Upper North Arena area – add food and beverage services and new tiered seating

• Lower West Premium Club – Add 12,000 sq ft indoor club space under the new chair-back seating surface

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

• The southwest and southeast entrances – widening the entrances to the courtyard and expanding the external meeting areas

• Brick cladding for vomit and gate ramp 11 – create a coherent architectural style

Scope of Phase 1 Retained:

• Extension of the South Junction 1 (including new and additional bathrooms and concessions)

• Kitchen, rep and loading basin

• South courtyard 2 chairs back

• LED strip board replacement

• Modern sound system

• North videoboard area and arena

• Lower western bowl for chair seats

Phase 1 removed/suspended Scope of evaluation/future phases:

• Expansion of the Southern Forum 3

• South courtyard 2 chairs back

• New vertical center ramp (slopes removed at Gates 10 and 11)

• Prominent southwest and southeast portal structures

• Outdoor patio and social gathering areas in southwest locations

• Checkerboard Lounge and Media Transfer

The Board of Directors will meet again Friday at their annual meeting to discuss the budget further.

The renewals were expected to expire before the first home game against Ball State on September 3.

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