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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Gridiron Club: Still in the works

A banner still hangs on the east side of Memorial Stadium, telling of the Gridiron Club. Fundraising for the project is still in the works.

A banner still hangs on the east side of Memorial Stadium, telling of the Gridiron Club. Fundraising for the project is still in the works.

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A banner hanging on the facade of Memorial Stadium, pictured above on Tuesday, indicates that the Gridiron Club, a lavish 3,000-seat, $34 million expansion project on the east side of the stadium, is still, in fact, “Coming Fall 2010.”

Kansas University associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said Tuesday that the school still was in the process of fund-raising for the project and that construction could begin sometime this year.

“We said from the beginning that we weren’t going to build it until we had enough money to pay for the construction of it. We don’t yet,” Marchiony said. “(The Gridiron Club) certainly will not be ready for the 2010 season but that doesn’t mean that we’re discouraged in any way or stopping the process. Construction certainly could start in 2010 if we get the money to pay for it.”

Comments

jdavidholt 4 years, 7 months ago

Tearing out the track, lowering the field and adding 7,000 seats CLOSE THE TO ACTION (where fans can impact the game) is far more important to the success of the KU football program than adding very hard-to-sell suites for the "big" donors.

Contact Marchiony and Perkins by mail and e-mail. (The only e-mail I have is jmarch@ku.edu.)

Kenneth Hillman 4 years, 7 months ago

100% agree. From what I understand though we have to have the new track (olympic training center) built first.

MitchumMan 4 years, 7 months ago

It appears that KU has offered a new O-lineman this week, Antonio Richardson. He's 6'6", weighs in at 310 and is from Tennessee. Including our offer he currently is at 15 right now. Looks like Gill's not affraid to go after the big boys of the SEC in their own territory. Nice! Could be a great get, but we are going up against some powerhouses too.

Also, I've noticed recruitment has been picking up a little bit for Dan Tapko, a Rockhurst player. Rivals used to have him listed as a DE but now they have him listed as a TE. It'll be interesting to see what position he wants to play and how that will affect the school he chooses.

Michael Leiker 4 years, 7 months ago

Needing 7000 more seats will probably come before adding 7000 more seats. A lot riding on 2010.

danno1313 4 years, 7 months ago

How about fixing the TEAM before spending millions more on the stadium. Seems similar to the KC CHefs! 300 mill on the building and team wins 4 games! Priorities folks!

Ryan Gerstner 4 years, 7 months ago

jdavidholt, KU doesn't need 7000 more seats. That would actually be counter productive because it would create a huge supply for demand that isn't there yet. If KU can sell out the Gridiron Club, if you very conservatively gave it credit for $3500/seat/year, it's the same thing as selling 30,000 regular football season tickets. The impact is beyond huge for KU. What the GC really is, is a big fundraiser for nearly all of KU Athletics facilities goals from the Olympic Village to taking out the track, etc. All KU fans should be rooting for the GC to be an overwhelming success.

Andy Hess 4 years, 7 months ago

jdavidholt - i'm not sure how many times this needs to be rehashed. Lew already said we're NOT lowering the field for more seats. NOT. AT. ALL. WAAAY too expensive. They have plans to EVENTUALLY take out the track and put in seating that is more handicap-accessible, but that is it. Even if they lowered the field, they would have to re-do all the seats in the stadium to get the correct line of sight for all the seats, or else some people would be stuck staring at the back of the head of the person in front of them. so, go ahead and send your emails, but they won't do any good.

jhokfan 4 years, 7 months ago

I'm in favor of the Gridiron Club. As much as I like Memorial Stadium it is an average facility at best. This will generate more revenue than lowering the track and it will help get Memorial up to par. They can lower the track and close in the north end when it is warranted.

jdavidholt 4 years, 7 months ago

swishymcjayhawk -- We can debate timing, but let's not debate these FACTS (based on the engineering study, commissioned by Athletics Dept board member and publisher Dolph Simons, Jr. in the early '90s):

1) There will be no need to re-configure existing seats. Seven rows can be added.
2) This same expansion / change was made to Owen Field in 1948. OU is well-known for an excellent stadium experience and tremendous home-field advantage. Been there. Done that.
3) KU is one of only 3 BCS schools that have a track inside their stadium. Like sharing company with Duke and Washington?

Jhokfan -- Yes. Close in the north end, too. Put the fans close where they can make a difference.

As the Chancellor commented to me at the Orange Bowl pre-game party, "So you want KU to have a first-class football facility?" Well, yes I do.

Jonathan Briles 4 years, 7 months ago

I have always liked the idea of closing the North end of the stadium. It would not be as much trouble and would add a huge amount of seats. After that kind of addition KU would have a very respectable attendance and stadium. On the other hand I realize that these things take time. We need the GC to come first and generate some big money for the school and then other things can come from it later.

MitchumMan 4 years, 7 months ago

The Gridiron Club is an amazing idea. Anyone who says it's not is, with no disrespect, dumb! The amount of revenue that this would bring in to the University is astronomical. What is doesn't do is provide a bigger game atmosphere, like completing the bowl and/or lowering the field and putting in my seats. However, these two things aren't going to happen until we start selling out more on a regular basis. Also, we need the revenue from the GC to build the Olympic Stadium. Until that happens we definitely couldn't rip out the track.

troutsee 4 years, 7 months ago

Agree with those who realized that the success of the Gridiron Club can be huge for KU football. I also agree that we should complete the horseshoe.

jhokfan 4 years, 7 months ago

  1. Build the Gridiron Club.
  2. Close in the north end.
  3. Remove/lower the scoreboard to open up the view to the campus.
  4. Construct architectural arches in between the vertical columns that makes Memorial look more collegiate and less generic.

kualuminohio 4 years, 6 months ago

How about a new stadium all together, our stadium is old, its old, I said its old.... The stadium is ancient, OLD, Really OLD. Build a new stadium, PLEASE....

kualuminohio 4 years, 6 months ago

hey maybe we should build a new stadium, what a great idea...

kualuminohio 4 years, 6 months ago

Here is the thing how many more times are we going to Frankenstein Memorial Stadium... Add this piece, wait we need one of these, what if we added this, yada yada yada... Give me a break, our stadium is a joke when compared to other stadiums.

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