With the upcoming start to the 2014 SEC football season, it's a good time to look forward to major changes awaiting fans this year. Four SEC schools are expanding their stadiums with LSU and Mississippi State unveiling end zone expansions, Missouri opening a new upper deck and Texas A&M finishing the first phase of their two year renovation project. Additionally, Kentucky is in the midst of a two year project that will decrease capacity while building a new press box and luxury seating facilities.
Kentucky's renovation project will have the smallest visual impact for television viewers, but should help the fan experience after it is completed in 2015. A new expansion will be built above the existing south sideline upper deck which will include a press box and suites. Additional renovations will include building a recruiting room in the student section, expanded concourses, a new facade and new lighting.
Old Capacity: 67,606
New Capacity (estimated): 61,000
Last expansion: 1999, bowled in end zone sections, added suites above end zone general seating
Outer beams that will form new Commonwealth Stadium facade are in place. The concourses are going to be much wider. pic.twitter.com/gQf7U1ddgi— Jen Smith (@jenheraldleader) June 29, 2014
LSU is adding an expansion above the south end zone at Tiger Stadium. Largely expanding luxury seating, the latest expansion will add 60 suites, 3,000 club seats and an estimated 1,500 regular seats. This past week, LSU announced that the final capacity after expansion will be 102,321 which will make Tiger Stadium the third largest stadium in the SEC after Texas A&M's Kyle Field (106,511) and Tennessee's Neyland Stadium (102,455). Additional features in the renovation will include two new south end zone video screens and new ribbon boards.
Old Capacity: 92,542
New Capacity: 102,321
Last expansion: 2006, replaced west upper deck and press box
LSU's Tiger Stadium is now the 5th largest college football venue w/ a stadium capacity of 102,321 pic.twitter.com/dHSccjO7pV— Aycock Law Firm LLC (@AycockLawFirm) July 12, 2014
Mississippi State is bowling in the north end zone of Davis Wade Stadium, replacing an existing set of bleachers. The expansion will add a net of just over 6,000 seats including 22 suites, approximately 1,700 luxury seats and the remainder in general seating. The expansion also replaces the existing north end zone video board and the west lower level concourse. The new capacity of 61,337 will surpass Vaught-Hemingway Stadium for the largest on campus stadium in Mississippi.
Old Capacity: 55,082
New Capacity: 61,337
Last expansion: 2000-2001, added 7,000 upper deck seats, 60 suites and 1,700 club seats to east side.
Texas A&M will complete the first phase of their multi-year, nearly half billion dollar, renovation of Kyle Field prior to this season. Prior to the 2014 season, Texas A&M will replace the bottom tier of the east side seats, roof over the east upper deck, brick in the exterior of the stadium and build a new south end zone expansion. After the 2014 season, the entire west structure will be demolished and rebuilt from scratch prior to the start of the 2015 season.
Old Capacity: 82,600
New Capacity: 2014-106,511, 2015-102,512
Last expansion: 1999-rebuilt north end zone seating adding an upper deck and luxury seating
Look at all that shade. People are actually going to WANT to sit on 3rd deck for afternoon games. SMH. pic.twitter.com/2MSSeSKcyL— Justin Kaspar (@Ranger222) July 8, 2014