Vanderbilt to survey fans about potential stadium renovations

Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE

For Vanderbilt football, the time to establish a foundation for long-lasting success is now, and school officials know it.

Vanderbilt completed several upgrades to its football stadium prior to the 2012 season, and more may be on the way. First, though, school officials want to survey fans and alumni to gauge just what sort of amenities they are looking for, and also what they're willing to pay for, according to the Tennessean. Seating capacity could eventually increase to around 50,000.

The potential new round of upgrades comes as part of an ongoing plan to both capitalize on head coach James Franklin's success and help to retain the coach for the long term. Franklin inked a new deal with the school during the offseason, and the Commodores are scheduled to open a $31 million multi-use facility that includes indoor practice space in October. Athletic Director David Williams recognizes that this is an important period of time for the football program's future (via the Tennessean):

"I don't want to say [the renovations are] dictated by James. But when we hired Coach, we talked about this kind of stuff. We talked about a new commitment to football - the stadium was already in our minds. The how and when is what we needed to see.

"The success over the last two seasons and the ability to do the multiuse facility convinced us now is the right time. ... If we're going to be in the SEC, we've got to get to this."

The school added a new video board, new turf, new lighting and additional seating last year. Potential new additions include a club level and luxury suites, as well as a widening of stadium concourses. Just how much of the stadium Vanderbilt will be able to renovate depends on the receptiveness of its fan base -- which is where the survey comes in. The sale of premium seating as well as the naming rights to the stadium are intended to cover much of the up-front costs.

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