Vanderbilt in talks for new football stadium

NASHVILLE - Vanderbilt Athletic Director David Williams said plans for a new football stadium or a major renovation to its current stadium are in the preliminary stages.

Williams said the project is a top priority in Vanderbilt’s athletic department, according to a report from The Tennessean.

“Even before I took over (as AD in 2003), people were saying, ‘Stadium, stadium, stadium’ because everybody was building stadiums,” Williams said. “But there hadn’t been serious talk internally about it before this.

“When you look at SEC stadiums, we are not in the same ballpark as the rest of them. That’s not a secret.”

Williams wants to accelerate plans for a new stadium, and is meeting with university planners and financial officers later this month.

The other 13 SEC schools have overhauled their football stadiums in the past 15 years, with those projects costing more than $1.2 billion combined. The last major renovation to Vanderbilt Stadium was in 1981. Less expensive additions for new turf and a video board have glossed its appearance in recent years.

Vanderbilt Stadium has a capacity of 40,550 fans, which is the smallest among the 14 schools in the SEC. Williams said a new facility would have a similar amount of seating.

Graph: SEC stadium capacities

In the previous five seasons (2011-15), the Commodores averaged 34,526 in attendance at home games.

Williams estimates a new stadium would cost between $60 million and $90 million.

The Tennessean contributed to this story.

(© 2016 WBIR)


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