The Big 12 and SEC have often been at the center of the college football facilities arms race. Here's a look at the upgrades each school has undergone since 2009, along with future plans.
BIG 12 FACILITIES UPGRADES SINCE 2009 (INCLUDING FUTURE PLANS)
The Bears' indoor practice facility was completed in 2009. But the major upgrade will come next season, when Baylor opens its sparkling $250-million stadium along the Brazos River. Its capacity will be 45,000, with plans to expand to 55,000, and will feature canopy shade for about half the seats. Also included are 39 suites, 79 loge boxes and 1,200 club seats.
The Bergstrom Football Complex, technically viewed as an addition to the indoor practice facility, was completed late last year. The 60,000-square-foot, $20.6 million project includes a weight room, locker room, meeting rooms, offices and a training and hydrotherapy room. The Cyclones got a new HD video board inside Jack Trice Stadium in 2011.
The Jayhawks' indoor facility underwent renovations in 2011, including the installation of new turf.
K-State will open its West Stadium Center this fall, a $75 million renovation project to Bill Snyder Family Stadium that includes a dining hall for athletes, a “Tailgate Terrace,” lounge and premium seating options such as 40 suites, 36 loge boxes and 800 club seats with premier sight lines. Other fan amenities, such as restrooms and concessions, have also been upgraded.
The Horned Frogs unveiled their overhauled stadium in 2012, a $164-million project that increased capacity to 45,000, added suites, club seats and lounging on the west side and upgraded spectator amenities such as concession stands, restrooms and escalators. TCU also received a new locker room in 2012, along with an expanded sports medicine center and equipment room. A new two-story, 19,000-square-foot weight room opened in 2011, which is triple the size of the Horned Frogs' previous facility.
Locker room upgrades from 2011 include adding a nutrition bar, a players' lounge with video game consoles, a 60-inch LED screen and 135 new lockers connected to an exhaust system. Facilities also underwent significant renovations in 2009. The south end zone seating of Royal-Memorial Stadium was expanded to give it its current capacity of 100,119, and new FieldTurf was installed. A new academic center triple the size of the previous facility opened inside the Moncrief-Neuhaus Athletic Center. And a refurbished indoor practice area — separate from the Longhorns' “Bubble” — and new defensive meeting room were also completed inside the MNAC.
Jones AT&T Stadium expanded its capacity to 60,454 in 2010 with the completion of its east stadium building. The football training facility underwent renovations beginning in 2009, including weight room and locker room upgrades and the installation of new turf. This fall, Tech will unveil the eighth-largest HD video board in college football and a revamped sound system.
West Virginia renovated its weight room this summer, expanding the already spacious 24,000-square-foot facility by another 2,000 square feet. There is also a 40-yard track and nutrition center inside the weight room.
SEC FACILITIES UPGRADES SINCE 2009 (INCLUDING FUTURE PLANS)
The Razorbacks moved into the $35 million Fred W. Smith Football Center in July, which features a new locker room, players' lounge, training room, team meeting room and equipment room. Razorback Stadium changed its playing surface from natural grass to artificial turf in 2009 and added a new LED scoreboard in 2012.
The Tigers moved into a $16.5 million, 100-yard indoor practice facility in 2011, replacing a 40-yard indoor field that could not be used for full-fledged practices. It connects to the athletic center and academic facility.
New HD screens were installed at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium to replace the scoreboards on the north and south end zones in 2009. Statues of Heisman winners Steve Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel and Tim Tebow were unveiled in 2011.
The Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall Football Facility underwent a $40 million renovation that finished in 2012, giving the Bulldogs a new weight room, indoor practice field and training room. The players' lounge includes pool tables, televisions and video game consoles.
Contracts were signed this summer with an architectural firm and construction manager to begin work on a $110 million project to renovate Commonwealth Stadium and the football facilities. The locker room will be upgraded and a recruiting room will be added. Two viewing decks and four platforms will be added, as well as new Club Lounge with 28 loge boxes and 347 club seats and a Coaches Club with 2,200 club suites. Nine rows of seats will be demolished for new suite and media levels. The renovations are scheduled to be completed in 2015.
LSU added an HD video board that measures 27 feet high and 80 feet wide to the north end zone of Tiger Stadium in 2009. Construction has also begun on 60 suites, 3,000 club level seats and approximately 1,500 general public seats that will bring the stadium's capacity close to or more than 100,000.
Ole Miss just opened its renovated locker room inside its indoor practice facility, expanding the size from 6,500 square feet to 9,000 square feet. Other upgrades to the football facility include a new 13,500-square-foot dining hall, compete with nutrition center, along with a team meeting room and coaching suites. The weight room has also been expanded from 8,000 square feet to 9,500 square feet and includes new equipment and floors. There are also plans to expand the north end zone seats at Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium.
Mississippi State opened its new $25 million, 80,000-square-foot Leo Seal Jr. Football Complex in January, which houses the locker room with a players' lounge, a 12,000-square-foot weight room, training room, team meeting room and coaches' offices. LED ribbon boards, which cost $1.4 million, were installed at Davis Wade Stadium in 2011. Expansion is planned for 2014, which will include between 5,000 and 7,000 additional seats.
Faurot Field has undergone numerous renovations in recent years, including a new HD video board and sound system in 2009, new FieldTurf in 2012 and changes to “The Hill” behind the north end zone for this coming season. The Hill was moved closer to the field, allowing for the expansion of the north concourse area. Construction of a suite and club tower on the east side of the stadium is scheduled to finish by the 2014 season. A new indoor practice facility and additional weight room are in the plans, as well.
A new video board and tailgating area, which cost $6.5 million and $30.5 million, respectively, were both added to Williams-Brice Stadium last season. New suites were added in 2010. A new indoor practice facility is in the plans.
The Volunteers moved into a new, $45 million facility last summer. The 145,000-square-foot center includes a 22,000-square-foot weight room, complete with an MMA fighting cage, a 7,000-square foot locker room, a team meeting room, hydrotherapy room, academic center, players' lounge, “restaurant” and museum featuring a “Peyton Manning Room.” Neyland Stadium also underwent renovations in 2009 and 2010 as part of a “Master Plan” to upgrade the historic facility, including improvements to the top level concourse and the addition of a statue of General Neyland in front of the west side entrance.
A&M opened a new, 19,000-square-foot weight room in 2012 and are set to begin a $450 million project that will expand Kyle Field's capacity from 82,589 to 102,500 by 2015. The renovations will also include increased chair-back seating, additional suites, loge boxes and club seating and improved fan amenities like restrooms and concessions.
A $30 million indoor facility is currently under construction and could be finished as soon as this fall. The Commodores' academic center and coaches offices were renovated in 2010. The locker room was upgraded in 2011, and a new natural grass turf was installed in Vanderbilt Stadium the same year.