The University of Arkansas Board of Trustees will vote on a $160 million expansion of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Thursday, Jaime Adame of Arkansas Online reports.
The expansion plan would add mostly premium seating to the 70,000-plus seat stadium. It was last renovated in 2001 and certainly could use a few upgrades.
“This project is about the fans of Razorback football,” UA System President Don Bobbitt wrote in a letter to trustees recommending project approval, attained by Jaime Adame of Arkansas Online. “The guiding force behind the project design and scope is the development of seating types and amenities that fans are asking for, as well as updating areas of the stadium that have not been touched since the last major stadium project more than 15 years ago.”
If expansion is approved, the capacity would grow from 72,000 to 76,000 seats. Most of those seats will come in the form of club-level and loge seats. It is the most expensive renovation plan in the university’s history.
That aspect of it has raised some questions among the board. It is not entirely certain the plan will pass.
Arkansas board of trustee member, and former U.S. Senator, David Pryor said he would not support expansion, believing there are other more pressing needs to address and support the students.
The expansion though has seen large support and it seems Arkansas would be able to support the funding necessary to complete the renovation. Revenue from Arkansas’ home games in 2014-15 was nearly $4 million and there is already interest in the new suites from the Razorback Foundation.
While most of the renovation would occur on the north side of the stadium creating more suite space, it would also include a renovation to Frank Broyles Athletic Center. That facility would be torn down and relocated to make room for the stadium expansion.
It is an exciting and interesting project for Arkansas athletics.