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Thursday, October 3, 2013

KU turns attention to stadium revamp

An overhead view of Kansas University's Memorial Stadium shows the Anderson Family Football Complex, at left, and the practice fields at the bottom.

An overhead view of Kansas University's Memorial Stadium shows the Anderson Family Football Complex, at left, and the practice fields at the bottom.

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With construction crews making progress on Kansas University’s new $39 million soccer, softball and track venue known as Rock Chalk Park, KU’s athletic department has moved into more serious planning stages for a renovation to Memorial Stadium.

“We hope to have the planning phase complete by the end of basketball season,” KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger told the Journal-World on Wednesday.

It’s a work in progress, but Zenger said it covers far more than just the aesthetics of KU’s football-stadium improvement, for which nearly a dozen different ideas and visions have been kicked around during the past several months.

Chief among the many factors that go into planning a project Zenger calls the biggest KU will undergo for the next 50 years is the department’s ability to afford it. While no budget has been set, Zenger said the department is involved in an ongoing and in-depth review of its financial capabilities, the results of which will give Zenger and his staff a better understanding of what is needed to turn plans to modernize Memorial Stadium into reality.

Typically, major stadium renovations are funded through bonding, borrowing and fund-raising. All three remain on the table for Kansas. While the final price tag and the project’s completion remain distant visions, the planning stage has been a project unto itself, and Zenger has maintained a couple of priorities throughout the process.

In late September, KU officials met with architects from Kansas City-based HNTB to begin working on the design concepts. In addition, Zenger has worked closely with Cliff Illig, a KU graduate and co-founder of Cerner Corporation, which has played a huge role in the increasing popularity of the Sporting Kansas City soccer club and its state-of-the-art stadium.

“That is an award-winning facility, and we want to walk closely with them in the redesign of Memorial Stadium,” said Zenger, referencing the importance of enhancing the fan experience in the stands, with modern technology and through social venues. “There is added pressure to do it right because this isn’t just any old stadium. This is also a memorial, and it holds special significance for so many people for so many reasons. We want to move it into the modern era while paying homage to the past at the same time.”

To that end, those involved with the project have taken time to pay close attention to other collegiate renovation projects and focused on ways to make KU’s football experience more intimate, which includes removing the track around the field.

With the heavy lifting of funding Rock Chalk Park and the DeBruce Center, which will house James Naismith’s original rules of basketball, now in the past, every move Zenger makes brings KU closer to getting the Memorial Stadium facelift under way.

“We don’t need to reinvent the wheel,” Zenger said. “We need to look very seriously at all of the other models out there and come up with something that works for us, something that is both more modern and unique to the University of Kansas, just like Allen Fieldhouse.”

Comments

actorman 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Great article, Matt.

Sounds like things are in solid hands with Zenger running the show, and I can't wait to see what they come up with.

5

hawk316 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Zenger continues to impress. What a great hire he was!

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RockyMountainHawk 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Great! Just what we need...a newer, nicer, larger empty stadium on Saturdays...

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BringBackMark 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Absolutely! Fix the upper concourse area (to at least have hot water) and call it a day. The only problem with that stadium has been the results on the field most years. If they wanted to spend millions they should've purchased all of the tiny houses for about a two block area north of the stadium. The practice fields could then be put there and use the current fields for pre-game activities and/or parking. There is absolutely no better tailgating experience than the base of Canpanile Hill.

How are you going to enhance the "fan experience with modern technology"? The Big TV set is already enough of a distraction. Listening to the marching band during timeouts is a thing of the past. The only thing I can think of would be some type of virtual reality system that the fans could utilize to have the experience of a victory once in awhile!

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kureader 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Haha ... Sounds like things are in solid hands with Illig running the show, and I can't wait to see what he comes up with. KU's problems are resolved, because they have a major donor. Now, the issues are primarily architectural, not financial. It's not simply a matter of removing the track. The end result will be the removal of the bowl, the a major rebuild of the entire stadium except for the only reusable portion, the west side with press boxes & suites. This isn't a bad thing. It's just that resolving the "track" issue is the tip of the iceberg. In the end, this will be a fantastic renovation. But, it's Illig (and a handful of other donors), not Zenger, that will deserve the credit.

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kureader 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Not baggin' on Zenger. He's our best A.D. in 30 years. I'm just givin' Illig credit for the stadium renovation. If he hadn't already committed, his name wouldn't be thrown around by the KU Athletic Department.

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kureader 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Comment regarding "The Hill" ... this is sacred. The issue is on the other end of the stadium, the more expensive (and architecturally necessary) alternatives require that the bowl be demolished and rebuilt, not an inexpensive proposition, but made possible if Illig really is "on board". There are no losers here. This could be a great thing for KU, KU football, and for all of us who love attending KU football games.

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ccarp 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Best news I read on Jayhawk football all day

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Andy Tweedy 11 months, 3 weeks ago

JHWKDW talks about the bowl aspect of Memorial, but I must say I'd be pretty disappointed if we lost the view of the hill from the seats. Maybe a lower section of seats, but I say no to closing in the end entirely. Of course, just about anything is better than a chain link fence and a tarp.

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Matt Tait 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I don't think getting rid of the view of the hill is even a possibility. If they do anything to that end it'll be with the hill and the view in mind...

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ahpersecoachingexperience 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Don't forget the delivery trucks that are always in view

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kay_you 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I agree. It would be tragic to close in the south end. I'd be okay if they moved the scoreboard.

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LAJayhawk 11 months, 3 weeks ago

A very nice, low brick wall seems like a natural replacement for the chain link fence there now. They cannot take away the view of the HIll. The view of Campanile is far too iconic and a symbolic representation of KU to be taken away. They will absolutely find a way to incorporate that into the design.

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Displayhawk 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Hopefully the renovation of the football team won't take as long as the renovation of the stadium!

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mikehawk 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Actually, there may ultimately be a strong connection between the two.

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scarletbhound 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I deeply appreciate Zenger's recognition that Memorial Stadium honors Kansas alumni who died in World War I. One of those people was my great uncle. Everytime I attend an event at thr stadium I think of Uncle Van and other war dead. It helps keep me grounded by recognizing that whatever happens on the field, there are more important things in life than the final score of a football game. It's wonderful to have an athletic director with a profound understanding of KU tradition.

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Dirtyphog 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Best news I've heard in awhile, especially working with cerner, keeping it in the KU family. Sporting park is the best soccer stadium in country, and I've heard Clint Dempsey say it's the best in the world. I hope they can retain some of the history of memorial, but still turn it into a great state of the art stadium. If they can put a decent product on the field it could fund itself

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justinryman 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Is anyone else shocked that Aphersay wasn't the first to comment on this story?

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ahpersecoachingexperience 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Since it is a memorial I say we honor the soldiers in the most bad@$$ way possible. Drop an atom bomb right on the 50 yard line!!!!!!!

Ahpersevisionaryexperience has the new plan. Build a new stadium in Kansas City and play our home games there. Own the KC market and its high school prospects for ever. Memorial is to far gone. No parking for tailgating, horrible traffic flow (the reason everyone leaves at halftime), and finally too many bad memories!

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JayhawkRock78 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Alpha-I don't get your first comment. I totally disagree with the second. So you would take the players and students off campus for home games? And how many students would get to see those games. There is tailgating in the parking lot SW corner. Traffic is bad true, but I don't see a solution to that.

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ahpersecoachingexperience 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Yes, a 20-30 minute drive for the students isn't a big deal. Most students are from or friends with someone who is from KC and could easily do this. I assume the majority of our alumni live in the area as we'll too.

And I'd love for you to show me where this tailgating area you speak of is. Looking at the picture above I see 35 parking spaces for a 50,000 seat stadium and you're not getting one of those spots without some coin. Average joe has to circle around narrow pothole filled streets looking for a vacant or crack house to which you can set up camp in the name of squatters rights and just when you see your spot some idiot driving the wrong direction down a one way street causes a traffic jam which takes so long you not only miss tailgating you miss the entire first quarter.

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Brandon Mahon 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I have gone to two games so far this season and I go to school 2 hours away. Either I am just that more dedicated or a quick 20 minute drive should not be that terrible. I do feel like with renovations to the stadium we will see an increase in parking. I am from Nebraska and the reason that UNL has one of the best game day experiences is because the stadium is down town and there is huge abandoned lots used for tailgating

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RCJay 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I like the idea, but I don't know that it would work. I go to a UMKC game each year with a friend, I hate to say it but he's a MU grad, so we settled on UMKC. They had games down at Municipal Auditorium and had trouble getting fans from 5 minutes away. They worked very hard to get the games on campus and that seems to have worked pretty well for them.

I think you would lose a lot of the student section, unless you organized a free/cheap bus caravan for them. You'd probably increase the alumni participants and pick up several curious people in KC. Interesting idea at least.

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mwb4ku 11 months, 3 weeks ago

aphers... once Rock Chalk Park is completed and the track is removed... KU can also remove the shot put and discus area on the NE corner of the stadium... this will create another 100+ spaces. I know it's not nearly enough spaces for a 50,000 seat venue... but it will create a larger area to enjoy tailgating.

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okiedave 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Traffic flow has always been bad. It would even be bad in KC if the games were moved there. Moving the event out off the campus would eliminate the college feel. However, if you are going to spend a few 100 mm renovating a stadium, a good planner can innovate some good high rise parking futher up the west hill or acquire some of the crack houses and clear those out for high rise parking that can be used during the week, or implement a good shuttle bus system from slightly futher away. All these problems can be alleviated with planning.

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ahpersecoachingexperience 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Ever grilled or tossed the football back in forth in a parking garage?

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Doug Roberts 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Always PLENTY of parking in Lot 90 these days because ever since the Orange Bowl victory old KU charges $20 to park there. 20 damn dollars!

I would certainly go along with a plan that totally demolishes Memorial and rebuilds from scratch at the same site while KU plays at Arrowhead for a couple of years!

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kay_you 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I would be okay with that as well but I'm guessing the demolition and new stadium would not be cost effective.

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ahpersecoachingexperience 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Ok...25-35 minutes. And who wants to tailgate at a site where the stadium is not in view and nobody is arround. And did you read about the hour and a half bus ride people took from downtown to the game. As for getting people to the game you're in a bigger market with more people looking for ways to spend a Saturday.

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741hawk 11 months, 3 weeks ago

The track is gone. Lower the field. Add 7,000 seats. Tear down the north bowl. Build the stands across the end zone. Create a home field that a good team can take advantage of. (It's coming, too.) That's a great start! Lots to feel hopeful about. I've been on this campaign since 1985. I was beginning to think I might die before seeing it. Maybe not. Rock Chalk.

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741hawk 11 months, 3 weeks ago

The 1992 engineering study indicated that seven rows could be added by taking out the track translating to 7,000 seats. The bowl has to come out. Irrelevant without a track. Bring ALL seats closer. Try Oklahoma or Texas A& M, where I've been recently, or any other BIG TIME BCS stadium. The end zone seats are on top of the end zones! Got to get the fans on top of the action. You watch. Zenger knows. The bowl is coming down!

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Ross Cargo 11 months, 3 weeks ago

If you lower the field and add seats, none of the existing seats are any closer to the field. In fact, they are further away.

The only way you get closer is to scrape and start over. That dump needs to go anyway.

Years ago, Maryland rebuilt one side then rebuilt the other. Scrape away the east side and rebuild it closer with a stacked deck and a luxury boxes, then do the same to the west (or other way around, I don't care). then finish with a new north end. The scoreboard moves in closer as well. Put seats in the south too, I don't care if you cannot see the hill. Are you there to watch football or daydream?

Build a nice monument for the war dead with a water feature, seating, and a calm area to contemplate (somewhere else on campus). A raucous stadium seems odd way to pay homage, but o each their own in that regard.

Bottom line: Memorial is an old out of date dump. "fixing" it up is putting lipstick on a dead pig.

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Ross Cargo 11 months, 3 weeks ago

741, not targeting you, just wanted to jump in somewhere....

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gorilla10 11 months, 3 weeks ago

The bowl isn't going anywhere and it doesn't need to. Lower the field a bit, add some seats as well as a row of about 15-20 to the south side still giving the hill a view and the players a tunnel to run out of.....It makes perfect sense!

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BPSkelly 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I would disagree on the North Bowl issue. I dont get season tickets (in St. Louis), but take the family to a game and get Family section seats once a year. The closest row is 30yds (at least away from the end zone). If the track is gone there's no reason not to move those seats in closer.

IF they lower the field (which appears to be at least one of the ideas) it would beheave them nuke the North bowl, rebuild it (either blocked or rounded) closer to where the actual game is being played.

My guess is they could do the same on the Hill side as well (if they lower the field) and have a more permanent set up in that endzone (and closer to) instead of something that looks like a temporary set up from a mediocre PGA event. Even closing it off with permanent boxes down there would help.

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texashawk10 11 months, 3 weeks ago

You don't have to square the bowl to move the seats closer to the field. After the track is removed, the field can be moved deeper into the bowl and the seats will be closer to the field that way.

1

kureader 11 months, 3 weeks ago

That was my opinion until I visited with a couple architects, who have been involved with stadium renovations. You can't just lower the field, remove the track and call it done. For reasons, I'm not qualified to explain, there is an issue with the position and orientation of the bowl. And, there's no easy way to resolve it, short of rebuilding the bowl. The issues with replacing the bowl are financial. There's no real significance to the bowl otherwise (like there is with "the hill"). Illig can help out ... but the whole enchilada is a 150 to 200 million dollar problem, likely more. That's more than KU can comfortably afford without a major donor. Cliff Illig is a really good guy, and it appears he's considering a significant contribution to KU and KU athletics.

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JayhawkRock78 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I was in the press box and several suites for the Relays. Seems nice enough as is.

0

lv_jhwk 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Nice enough?? Surely you jest.

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pbouldenv 11 months, 3 weeks ago

KU doesn't need to boil the ocean to start out this project. A must, and I mean as soon as possible is removing the track. Phase 1 should be remove the track, lower the field and put in a proper nice looking fence on the south end of the stadium. This would make Memorial about 100% better and not an embarrassment. Phase 1 should be in the immediate future. The nice to haves but not as critical would be the next phases and could be done over a 5 to ten year horizon. Phase 2 redesign/rebuild the north end zone bring the stands closer to the field (keep the cool exterior wall column look though). Phase 3 rebuild the east stands bringing them closer to the west stands. I hope KU focuses on the most important things and doesn't stall this project on non-essential nice to have features. Memorial is in an awesome location which makes up for a lot of deficiencies with the actual stadium.

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rockchalk_dpu 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I've posted my thoughts on this on previous articles about potential stadium renovations, but think its worth repeating. I think any major renovation should start with putting up a limestone facade over the guts of the stadium. This would give a great uniform look to match the rest of the campus (and especially the Fieldhouse). With lowering the field, I think the gain in seating by extending the current seats down a few rows isn't worth it. Instead, I would favor moving the field toward the bowl to bring the fans closer to the action. My personal preference, with a lower field would be to re-do the slope for better sight lines (Michigan had to do this at the Big House), but block off the horseshoe rather than keeping the U. Of course none of this is possible without some additional luxury seating. Every major renovation to stadiums is including these high dollar seats, so this will have to be factored in somehow (above students/extend the current box). Looking at the picture above in the article, I think this could be such a great stadium with a few asthetic tweaks and then several fan/player experience tweaks to bring it to the modern era.

Just my suggestions on these things of course. I certainly don't expect any of them to be put into place (and haven't received a call from SZ to help consult), but am excited to hear that they are starting to think about it and glad that they have engaged the Sporting group. They have a great fan experience and something worth emulating all throughout sports.

RCJGKU!

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BPSkelly 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Im with you on the limestone. It's a bit striking this has not happened sooner. It's good to see the wheels are in motion though.

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kureader 11 months, 3 weeks ago

KU has retained the best architects and advisors that are available. There are a dozen different stadium renovation strategies under consideration. As with all things, it comes down to money. If KU can find the money, they'll implement one of the more desirable renovation alternatives. This is going to have a happy outcome.

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Brett McCabe 11 months, 3 weeks ago

For those of you outside of the KC area, the Sporting KC stadium in Kansas City, Kansas has won rave reviews as one of the best spectator venues in the county. Zenger is wise to partner with these people.

Also, for everyone who has been complaining about our stadium, it's time to put up or shut up. Get out your wallets and help solve the problem instead of constantly coming on here to gripe. You are going to be absolutely shocked at the price tag.

I won't be able to give a lot, but I will give. It's going to take everyone of us to help out to make this a reality.

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Brett McCabe 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Second note: I wonder if they'll have to move any home games to Arrowhead for the construction or will this be a project that they can complete between seasons, perhaps in phases?

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Matt Tait 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Won't happen. They'll make the construction work around the upcoming home schedules however they have to.

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Brandon Mahon 11 months, 3 weeks ago

They will do the track and get the field squared away before they even consider touching the stands and the actual stadium. While taking out they track they will probably bring stands closer, but I highly doubt they start actual stadium renovations until the season is over next year or they know for a fact they can get somethings done before the year begins

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ahpersecoachingexperience 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Can we get avatars back. Reading screen names instead of looking at pictures is hurting my head!

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Kip_McSmithers 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Click on your profile and re-upload your avatar.

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ShockNAwe 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Among the changes I would hope for would be seats wide enough for 21st century butts. Nothing more fun than trying to displace some 280 lb. lummox taking up half of your assigned 17 inches.

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gorilla10 11 months, 3 weeks ago

  1. Remove the track.
  2. Lower the field a little bit.
  3. Close the bowl with about 15 rows of seats low enough to keep the hill visable while also giving players a true tunnel to run out of.
  4. Update north stadium scoreboard with a screen of some sort.
  5. Turn the throwing tunnels and grass on the northeast side of the stadium into a parking lot!

Has anyone ever been to Fort Worth and seen TCU's stadium? The fort worth bowl was there back in the day and I loved that stadium for some reason.....KU could easily give Memorial a similar look.

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gorilla10 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I would also recommend adding 5 or so rows around the entire stadium replacing the UGLY chain fence everywhere it's found! It would also be really sweet to replace the "new" scoreboard with a smaller model while adding two new scoreboards to the Northwest and Northeast side of the bowl. Would be a pretty cool look and open up the hill even more!

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mwb4ku 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Agreed...

This is TCF Stadium in Minnesota.  They have a horseshoe design with 15 rows in the open end to close the bowl while keeping an amazing view of downtown Minneapolis.  KU can do the same.

This is TCF Stadium in Minnesota. They have a horseshoe design with 15 rows in the open end to close the bowl while keeping an amazing view of downtown Minneapolis. KU can do the same. by mwb4ku

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nuleafjhawk 11 months, 3 weeks ago

We can open up the stadium and get an amazing view of downtown Minneapolis ??

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mwb4ku 11 months, 3 weeks ago

haha! view of Minneapolis = view of the Hill. Kind of sad I would have to explain this...

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nuleafjhawk 11 months, 2 weeks ago

HAHA - even more sad that you don't know it's sarcasm....

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Reuben_J_Cogburn 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Most beautiful, state-of-the-art stadium doesn't mean jack if you can't win football games.

....same with the intriguing uniform combos we've put out lately.

Focus on winning. How stupid will we feel when we have the inaugural game at updated Memorial Stadium and get beat by the University of Phoenix Online?

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gorilla10 11 months, 3 weeks ago

They dont have a football team but North Dakota state does! Ask Kstate about that inagural game and how it feels??? haha

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Waylon Cook 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Zenger does a great job except when hiring the most important coach of all............................

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gorilla10 11 months, 3 weeks ago

uh, this is KU. The most important coach of all is Bill Self.....hello?? Once again, we're in year TWO of Weis's tenure. This is football, give him time....my goodness you people don't get it.

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Chayse Patrick 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I hope Zenger and the administration has the money figured in for the firing and the hiring of another football coach ASAP!!! KU can't handle much more of this idiot. Zenger definitely had his head up his @$$ on this last coach

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troutsee 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Close the south end and lower the track. Make it a football stadium. I go there to watch football not to look wistfully at the campanile.

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Brett McCabe 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Will never happen. Even Weis mentioned that he shows the view to recruits. Block that view and you've destroyed one of the best parts of the stadium, the pre-game, etc.

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KGphoto 11 months, 3 weeks ago

What about graduation? That’s one of the coolest things about the view. Both as a graduate from the hill, and as a parent from the stadium.

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kay_you 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Can't see closing the south end. If we want more seats lower the field and close in the north end. As it stands today we have more seats than we need.

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Brandon Mahon 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I love where the stadium is located. I wish there were some more open lots to where there could be tailgating. When the university looks at renovations they should not only add parking but look at buying some of the land near the stadium for tailgating. The game day experience at the games is fun and cool but it could be better just like the stadium. Add some stands under the big score board, replace the mini scoreboard with a bigger newer one, and get rid of the crappy fence. Make a tunnel for the players to walk out of instead of them having to walk through a fence. Little changes could make a huge difference.

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KGphoto 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Glad they hooked up with Cerner. I’ve been pimping the idea of the soccer style, partially covered stadium for a while. Exactly like what Sporting Park has. I would love it if they took that path.

It would probably be the only American football stadium to “sport” the look. I don’t know what it is, but the inside of those stadiums are just rad. Maybe it’s the way the lights are out closer to the field giving the corners of the stands that shadowy feeling like AFH.

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Brett McCabe 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm not an acoustics engineer, but I think that the covering might help with stadium noise - especially in the north bowl. I'm with you, this stadium is pretty awesome.

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texashawk10 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Husky Stadium had a canopy over part of the seating before their remodel. I don't know if it's still up or not, but I would assume so.

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KGphoto 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Good call. CenturyLink Field also has a canopy on each side and an open end to view downtown Seattle. One of the coolest stadiums in America.

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KGphoto 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I’ve posted this before but why not share it again. It’s a good one.

This reno with the Sporting Park partial cover would be so nice.

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clevelandjayhawker 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you KG!!!!! Everytime I see an article about the stadium I think of this for 4 reasons:

  1. It could be done cheap
  2. It looks amazing
  3. It could be done fast
  4. It gives a new feel to a classic
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Brett McCabe 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Great link. What I like is that it would make the stadium more intimate without disturbing the southern view. The underground view was cool.

The north bowl is an issue but this approach would bring it a bit closer.

One thing that they could consider is an STO section behind the north end zone, or some other kind of specialty area that doesn't block the view from the north bleachers. When Fenway was reno'd they added the Green Monster seats, which was very creative.

Maybe KU could bring a select group of ticket holders into that north bowl area with a small, stepped view and some sort of seating. Even if it were just 200 or 300 fans. It would be pretty cool to view the end zone plays from essentially field level. Even though the seats would be on the end, I think that you could charge an arm and a leg for them. It would also add some volume when needed for defensive stands.

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Brandon Mahon 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I like the look but I dont know how i feel about it the sideline with it raised off the ground and saying Kansas. I know its just a prototype design and stuff but still looks pretty cool

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Tony Bandle 11 months, 3 weeks ago

As a KU architectural grad, I am quite interested in what transpires. It would be somewhat ironic however, that somewhere down the line, we look back and see that the best solution was to update Memorial for a compliant track layout, with soccer, etc., keep all the football offices and practice fields there and build a state of the art football stadium on the new site!!

Still. I think the posters have pretty much covered the highlights:

1] Remove the track and lower the field thus adding seven rows below the current field plus another 10 rows above at the open end . That will give it a 15 row "bowl look" but still keep a large portion of the "Hill View".

2] Provide a large updated scoreboard at the North End.

3] Turn the open ground around the stadium into designated tailgate areas.

4] My contribution - tear down the slum homes from Maine to Illinois and 9th to 11th streets thus making that an additional "Super Taligating Field" while maintaining no parking on the streets for easier traffic flow.

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Tony Bandle 11 months, 3 weeks ago

PS No one said I was a math genius :)

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BPSkelly 11 months, 3 weeks ago

No problem Oak, we get what you mean! :)

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kay_you 11 months, 3 weeks ago

They did a nice job on the stadium in manhattan on what was basically a high school like facility. Whatever they do I hope they keep it traditional looking and not like an NFL stadium.

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Chayse Patrick 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Yea well Kstate (Manhattan) has had some wonderful success over the past 15 years or so. KU is still struggling trying to win 2-3 games a year. First things first fellas and that is FIRE WEIS........NOW>>>>he is not college coaching material. And neither are any of his assistants.

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741hawk 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Me thinks you speak too soon.

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jaybate 11 months, 3 weeks ago

The only remotely feasible approach to renovation is to turn it partially, or fully, into a domed stadium and have KU basketball play a selected number of games in it to supplement the volatile football revenues. The football program will take a decade to get good enough to fill any substantial expansion seating. The domed stadium would ease scheduling conflicts for mens and women's basketball, too. The track should be left in place so that the domed stadium could be used to attract pre-Olympic track and field events.

Track and field is the next sport to be promoted big time. And KU's alliance with Adidas, the global leader in track and field shoes and apparel is a perfect reason to do the dome. It should be called the KU-Adidas Dome.

None of the other solely football oriented expansions make fiscal sense, because of how weak the football program has always been on its own. Costly double-decking the east side, just creates more bad seats to watch an often bad team. Closing the bowl creates even worse seats for the same end. Digging down to lower the field, remove and add seats is a lot of cost for a tiny increase in good seating.

But they won't do the feasible thing, because KUAD is a not-for-profit extremely beholden to the political economic agendas of a very small number of private oligarchs. KUAD will do exactly what they and Chancellor CBernie want.

That will be one of two scenarios:

  1. lower the field and add a tiny number of Private Oligarchy Suites down at field level; or

  2. they will do something closer to what University of Michigan did.

They will build a large, six story multi-use structure that extends the full length of the side of the horseshoe opposite the press box. The top one, or two stories will be luxury suites for corporations oriented to the playing field. The lower floors will be a combination of incubator "institute" space (e.g., a fracking institute), and university offices and classrooms for some sexy new school/department CBernie has her eye on creating (most likely some discipline capable of attracting defense grants (e.g. a cyber spy program jointly affiliated with MI-5 and CIA, a nanotechnology department, a weather warfare department, etc.).

I don't like domed stadia much, but they beat sitting out in freezing November/December weather, and if folks really believe the global warming hype, then an air-conditioned football stadium is going to be an absolute must over the next 50 years.

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Chayse Patrick 11 months, 2 weeks ago

idiot! 5 what? 5 wins in 3 years???

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Brett McCabe 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Are you lost? I can give you directions back to the basketball board if you need them.

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Adam McEwen 11 months, 3 weeks ago

After reading some comments I've gotta ask, is everyone so lazy that they're incapable of walking a few blocks to the stadium?

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Brett McCabe 11 months, 3 weeks ago

It's funny that you say that. The walk is part of my pre-game ritual. Tailgating happens for blocks on end as you walk south from the neighborhoods - the atmosphere builds the closer you get to the stadium.

If we ever build a real program, these neighborhood parties will get bigger, better and more creative. If I owned one of those homes, I'd forget about parking cars and just rent the place out as a one-day party spot.

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pbouldenv 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I love the walk to the stadium. You can hear the band in the distance. Excitement builds with each step towards the stadium.

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Chicagohawk97 11 months, 2 weeks ago

The Stanford stadium renovation is an almost perfect model for what we need to do here. For those that are not familiar, pull up google images of the old Stanford stadium and compare with the current Memorial. Same setup - low sloping grandstands with wide footprint; track around the playing field; bowl at one end extending far away far from playing field. Surprisingly, it was actually worse than Memorial.

Now google the the remodeled Stanford stadium- track removed, grandstands remodeled to two tiers which are steeper and don't extend as far away from the field (creating a louder atmosphere & better home field advantage); bleachers replaced with actual seats. The overall seating capacity was actually reduced, but more luxury boxes were added.

Contruction started after last home game in 2005. New stadium opened for 2nd home game in 2006. Total cost - about $90M. The only thing I would do differently with Memorial is to figure out a way to open up the South end to retain the view of the hill- otherwise perfect replica of what we need. Get it done!

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KGphoto 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Very cool.

Here’s the time lapse of the project. It even says “People said it couldn’t be done”.

And for the people who think it won’t make a difference if we don’t win, I say bologna. Plenty of people would come to see the stadium alone if it’s cool enough. It would attract recruits, garner media attention and build confidence in the players.

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shelleysue 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I will be ecstatic if I can sit through a game without feeling I have to roll into a fetal position to avoid getting knocked around by people in front and back of me. A little more room would be fabulous. And some of this other stuff too! Just don't lose the game day feel - it might be different than most but that's what makes it awesome.

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