The Arizona St. Sun Devils announced plans to renovate Sun Devil Stadium on Wednesday when newly appointed athletic director Steve Patterson unveiled basic designs to the public. While the announcement provided some insight into the stadium changes, there's still a lot left to be decided in the coming months.
First, the actual timetable for construction has yet to be determined. Steve Patterson announced that ASU is looking at two different construction plans right now: one that would allow for reconstruction in five stages while the team continues to play at Sun Devil Stadium, and one that would relocate the Sun Devils to another venue while the project is completed. The first option would require about five years to finish, while the second option would take only two years.
Right now, it appears that ASU is leaning towards the former. Staying on campus, even with renovation looming, makes a lot of sense for the Sun Devils. Last year's student attendance marked one of the largest in ASU history, and there's no point in moving away with that momentum around. In Patterson's own words, "We want to be close to this student body."
Another big question surrounding the project is the estimated cost. Click through for more details after the jump.
A figure in the ballpark of $300 million has been thrown around this week, but Patterson was hesitant to comment on that value. More than anything else, this is an indication that the athletic department is still looking at various structuring options.
Patterson stated repeatedly that ASU has been in the bottom three of the Pac-12 conference in terms of football revenue over the past few years, and this renovation will be the program's bold move to change that. The Sun Devils definitely want to add a fabric roof to improve shading while reducing the stadium capacity to roughly 55,000 or 65,000, but anything beyond that is up in the air.
The athletic department wants to improve the fan experience as a whole, and lots of options are being tossed around to achieve this goal. In Patterson's words:
"We need far more restrooms, far more concession stands, more elevators, more escalators. I think we need to have nice suites...We really need to bring the fan experience up to what they're used to."
Put simply, everything is being examined right now. There isn't much certainty in the specifics of the construction plan yet, but one thing is clear: ASU is making a move to upgrade big time.