Illinois annouces $132 million renovations to Memorial Stadium

After months of speculation, the University officially announced its plans for renovations to the Memorial Stadium south horseshoe and east side.

These renovations are estimated to cost approximately $132 million and are to be funded by the DIA’s general fund and private gifts.

“Following Coach Smith’s arrival, this project is the necessary next step to building a sustainable, championship-caliber football program,” said Josh Whitman, Illinois director of athletics, in a press release. “This is an investment in our student-athletes, both present and future, to ensure that they have the resources needed to compete at the highest level. Such a commitment is required if we are to win consistently in the Big Ten and on the national stage. This is the first in a series of facility projects that will ultimately position all Illinois student-athletes for enduring success.”

Josh Whitman on Twitter: “Selecting an architect now, but these early renderings give you a flavor. Big plans = big future. Learn more: / Twitter”

Selecting an architect now, but these early renderings give you a flavor. Big plans = big future. Learn more:

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The renovations continue on Illinois’ Renaissance, which began in 2005 with changes in the west and north sides.

According to the release, plans for the updates include a new football operations center in the south end zone, training, recovery, sports medicine facilities, meeting and office spaces and recruiting venues. This will be in a new south grandstand.

The east and main balcony stands will be updated with new restrooms, elevators and enhanced fan and ADA seating.

The University filed a Request for Professional Services Qualifications to start plans to renovate Memorial Stadium in September.

After this process, Illinois will choose an architect and engineering firm to complete drawings, with anticipation of submitting a final plan to the University Board of Trustees by spring of 2017. The project would be completed by summer of 2020.

“This project is an important addition to our program as we continue to build,” Head Coach Lovie Smith said in the same release. “Memorial Stadium is one of the historic and iconic stadiums in the nation, and this renovation will only enhance that reputation.”

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