DESTIN, Fla. — Auburn’s proposed stadium renovations are closer to $200 million than the initial estimation of $145 million released in 2015.
Auburn president Jay Gogue told SEC Country at the SEC’s spring meetings the “early estimate” he heard was $180 million.
“It’s not on any agenda for decision right away,” Gogue said. “They’re still doing their preliminary studies and due diligence, and so it hasn’t reached the stage where they’re on a board agenda for review.”
The project is in the middle of a year-long feasibility study, which should end this fall, Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs said. Simply put, Auburn will know in a few months if it will move forward with its plans to renovate the north end zone.
“We’ll know by the end of this fall where we are, and if that happens and it’s positive and we’re able to raise the money we need to raise to move forward with the project, then we could possibly start (construction) at the end of the ’17 season,” Jacobs said at the SEC’s annual spring meetings.
The initial estimation was $145 million, but Jacobs conceded previously the costs “could definitely be higher.”
The project was first introduced in early 2015 and has hit several speed bumps along the way. Jacobs initially set a tentative start date of December 2015, but discussions hit a snag during the design face in the summer of 2015. Designs were leaked to AuburnSports.com during that time, though those plans were taken off the table as the administration went back to the drawing board in the fall.
The massive renovations would include destruction of the north end zone and the erection of a new grandstand, which would include multiple levels, premium seating, club-level seating on two levels, a terrace, bench seating at field level, a wider concourse and the relocation of the home locker room and recruiting lounge from the south end zone to the north end zone.
Auburn released renderings of the potential renovation to fans in December. In an effort to seek feedback for the renovation, the athletics department also sent a survey to 5,000 ticket buyers and asked the public to email the department with their thoughts.
“The key to it is we’re not trying to fix anything,” Jacobs said. “We could perfectly live with our north end zone the way it is. We’re just trying to create different price points to create a better game day experience for our customers, our fans in the north end zone. And we’re also trying to produce revenue to support these 21 sports. All that has to come together for us to move forward. It has to be a good business decision.”