Kansas Athletics is moving forward with a $300 million Memorial Stadium renovation plan that will be released to the public in September, athletic director Sheahon Zenger announced Wednesday night at a “Football in June” event at The Well Bar.
The project will include an indoor practice facility, with Zenger expecting to receive renderings in the next three weeks.
Zenger declined further comment afterward, saying he would speak more in the coming months after the designs were disclosed to fans. Future KU chancellor Douglas Girod, who attended the Kansas City gathering and will replace Bernadette Gray-Little later this summer, also kept his comments brief.
“I’m excited to learn more,” he said of the project.
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Kansas football coach David Beaty, who spoke to a standing-room-only crowd for about an hour, later described the football news as “awesome.”
“It’s exciting for me, because it’s a great time to be at KU,” Beaty said. “That guy (Zenger) has done so much here, and for him to clear the deck and really make room for football right now — and he’s a football guy at heart — knowing that our fans deserve a really, really nice stadium … we want these people to be comfortable and really enjoy their time there.”
Beaty also would be helped by a new indoor football facility. The team doesn’t have one of its own now, using Anschutz Sports Pavilion when the weather forces practices inside.
“It will be something that will be just that next step in transcending our program to the next level,” Beaty said. “We really do have to keep up with the facility war that goes on out there.”
Wednesday’s proclamation comes one month after Zenger emphasized the importance of football following the signing of his three-year contract extension. At the time, Zenger spoke about the need for a renovated Memorial Stadium.
“We want it to be a place that people just love to come to,” Zenger told the Star in May. “We have such history there. I think it’s the greatest setting in the nation for college football. We just need to get it to the point where it’s a place that’s just revered.”
The move forward for renovations appears to be a significant step, as KU officials have considered a Memorial Stadium overhaul for more than a decade.