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BC-FBC--Vanderbilt-Renovations,1st Ld-Writethru

May 28, 2019
Vanderbilt is making some improvements to its football stadium to address what athletic director Malcolm Turner says are “very clear and obvious limitations” until a plan is devised to upgrade all of the university’s athletic facilities. Memorial Gym and Hawkins Field also undergo renovations. The football stadium’s last major renovation was in 1981. For now, Vanderbilt is taking down one videoboard and upgrading another videoboard.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Vanderbilt is making some improvements to its football stadium to address what athletic director Malcolm Turner said are “very clear and obvious limitations” until a plan is devised to upgrade all of the university’s athletic facilities.

Vanderbilt Stadium hasn’t had a major renovation since 1981. Turner, who started Feb. 1, announced the upgrades Tuesday along with other renovations including the basketball arena and baseball stadium. But football season starts Aug. 31 with a visit from Georgia, and Turner said Vanderbilt has been listening to fans on the need to make coming to the Southeastern Conference’s smallest stadium better.

“We are considering any and all interim options to improve the game day experience,” Turner wrote. “Beyond what we can feasibly address for this upcoming season, we will continue to explore additional opportunities to enhance the experience until a longer-term plan and solution is developed. To put it bluntly, we have some work to do to provide the first-class experience we all desire.”

Vanderbilt will hire a firm to devise an overall renovation plan. Turner said the plan will assess all of athletics’ facilities “to enhance, renovate, reimagine and start anew.”

For now, Turner said Vanderbilt will remove the videoboard in the south end zone and upgrade the videoboard in the north end zone. Renovations on restrooms inside the stadium will begin soon along with new signs planned for inside and around the stadium.

Memorial Gym is getting new lighting and sound systems, and Turner says talks are ongoing for renovations to the locker rooms and other areas used by players. Hawkins Field, which is hosting an NCAA regional starting Friday, will get new artificial turf. Renovations already have started at the building where the athletic department is based for the training table and the Olympic sports weight room.

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