Illinois to Unveil Memorial Stadium Renovation Plan


CHAMPAIGN, IL – The University of Illinois announced today plans for extensive renovations to the Memorial Stadium south horseshoe and east side.

“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. “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.”

This project is a continuation of the Illinois Renaissance, which began in 2005 with large-scale renovations to Memorial Stadium’s west and north sides.  That project resulted in the completion of the stadium’s premium seating and press box facilities, the north end zone student seating area, and recruiting and strength training facilities for use by the football program.

Plans for this new project include constructing a new home for all football operations in the south end zone, including locker rooms; training, recovery, and sports medicine facilities; meeting and office spaces; and recruiting venues. The building will be housed inside a new south grandstand. Work to the east main and balcony stands will feature new restrooms, concessions and elevators, along with enhanced fan accessibility and ADA seating.

“This project is an important addition to our program as we continue to build,” said head coach Lovie Smith. “Memorial Stadium is one of the historic and iconic stadiums in the nation, and this renovation will only enhance that reputation. The additions will give both our players and fans a greatly improved experience, from preparation during the week to the game-day atmosphere.”

In mid-September, the University issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for architectural services. Upon completion of the RFP process, the University is expected to choose an architect and engineering firm to complete plans and drawings. The DIA anticipates presenting a plan to the University Board of Trustees for board approval in the spring of 2017. This would enable the south end zone portion of the project to be completed in the summer of 2019 and the east side in the summer of 2020.

This portion of the Illinois Renaissance is expected to cost approximately $132 million and will be funded by private gifts and the DIA’s general fund.

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