KU announces plans for reimagined football facilities, including Memorial Stadium overhaul

Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 10:56 AM CDT
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (KCTV) - Kansas athletic director Travis Goff is striking while the iron is hot. Goff and the University of Kansas announced Friday plans for a project that will overhaul 102-year-old David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

Construction on the project would begin in 2023. According to a release from KU, the project will “transform the area near the intersection of 11th and Mississippi streets with new facilities that may include a mix of conference and entertainment space, retail and other functions that drive regional economic growth and generate revenue for academic programming.”

The project includes major upgrades to David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, the 11th-oldest stadium in college football. Early stages of the development will begin in early 2023, with renovations to the Anderson Family Football Complex being the first stage. In that process, the university said site preparation work will be done related to storm water, sanitation, Wi-Fi availability and electrical system upgrades.

“Now, more than ever, college athletics -- and certainly sustained success in the sport of football -- are critical to the health and vibrancy of our entire university community,” Goff said in the release. “There is a tremendous excitement for this project among donors and partners who believe in KU’s mission.”

Stadium plans include upgrades to the in-game experience such as seating bowl design with improved sightlines that bring fans closer to the field, upgraded restrooms and concessions and improved concourse circulation. The university said it also plans to add new premium amenities such as club seats, loge seats and ledge seats.

“This project is unmatched in its vision to benefit a broad range of KU constituents while signaling a new era for Kansas football,” said Goff. “Once complete, this project will ensure our football program has the facilities it needs to compete at the highest level and provide the best possible gameday experience for student-athletes and fans.”

The announcement from KU comes on the heels of a 5-0 start to the 2022 season -- the first 5-0 start since 2009 -- and the arrival of ESPN’s College GameDay. The undefeated and 19th-ranked Jayhawks take on No. 17 TCU on Saturday at 11 a.m.

It also comes as instability in the college athletics landscape comes as another round of conference realignment has begun. With Big 12 institutions Oklahoma and Texas heading to the SEC, the project serves as evidence toward KU’s commitment to football, and aims to keep the university relevant in the college football landscape.

“This project will have a profound impact on the future of Kansas Football and the entire community,” said head coach Lance Leipold. “It will specifically impact our current and future football players, who will now have a state-of-the-art facility to train in. With an up-to-date facility and a commitment to improve Anderson Family Football Complex, our day-to-day operation will be more efficient and effective. This is an exciting time for Kansas Football, and this certainly adds to it.”

KU has chosen HNTB, a company that specializes in multi-purpose entertainment venue design, along with Lawrence-based Multistudio. The firms will help KU develop more specific plans, timelines and cost estimates in the weeks ahead.