Originally published June 21, 2017 at 07:47p.m., updated June 21, 2017 at 09:56p.m.
Kansas City, Mo. During a meet-and-greet event for the Kansas football team Wednesday, KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger delivered news that renovation of Memorial Stadium and other football-related projects totaling $300 million are around the corner.
Zenger said architects will complete their renderings of the stadium’s renovation in three weeks, and the final version is expected to be released to the public in September.
“I’m going to say this quick and then be done with it. In three weeks, we will have the renderings for a new stadium,” Zenger said to a large crowd with KU head football coach David Beaty and incoming chancellor Douglas Girod in attendance at The Well Bar. “The numbers will approach around $300 million dollars.”
Along with renovations to the stadium, Zenger announced plans for an indoor football facility that the team can practice in.
Zenger, who recently had his contract extended until 2021, wants pieces of the renovation that can benefit the team’s on-field performance to be completed first.
“The stuff we’re going to do first is like I talked about, things that we should’ve had 10 years ago,” Zenger said. “At the top of the list is an indoor facility. So as we begin the stadium, we’re going to start with an indoor facility. We’re going to do things that will help young guys on the field.
“This is a special, special time to be here,” Zenger added.
Beaty said the indoor practice facility will be crucial for the Jayhawks to keep up with rival programs in their ongoing “facility war.”
At the meet-and-greet, Beaty touted the team’s $2 million renovated locker rooms, which opened last season.
“I think it will be something that will be just that next step in transcending our program to the next level,” Beaty said of the indoor facility. “We really do have to keep up with the facility war that goes on out there. Dr. Z gets that. Our chancellor Girod, I know that he gets that and obviously (outgoing) chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little was so phenomenal in giving us all the pieces that we needed.”
The Jayhawks finished with a 2-10 record last season, but Zenger told the crowd, "We're doing it because we have the leadership of this coach right here," signaling to Beaty.
“It’s exciting for me because it’s a great time to be at KU,” Beaty said. “I mean (Zenger) has done so much here. For him to clear the deck and kind of make room for football right now, and he’s a football guy at heart, knowing our fans deserve a really nice stadium.
"It’s a fan experience nowadays, and we want these people to be comfortable and really enjoy their time there."