Florida planning significant upgrade to football stadium
The Florida Gators are planning to significantly upgrade Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, according to athletic director Scott Stricklin who appeared on ESPN 98.1 WRUF’s “Sportscene” Monday.
While blueprints haven’t been finalized, Stricklin says the athletic department has a general idea for the kind of renovations it wants and the upgrade is going to be significant. Of course, bringing the Swamp further into the 21st century costs a pretty penny.
“That is going to be by far the most ambitious facility project not only the University of Florida has ever done from an athletic standpoint, but it might be the biggest in SEC history, maybe even as big as any nationally,” Stricklin said. “It’s going to be, my guess is to fully renovate the Swamp, you’re looking at a few hundred million dollars.”
Florida’s last major upgrade to the stadium came in 2003 when the press box was expanded and club-level seats and luxury boxes were added. That project cost $55 million, so Florida is planning on a much larger facelift this time around.
“Really what you want to do is you want to make sure Ben Hill Griffin Stadium extends its useful life for several generations. Not a 10- or 15-year fix but a 75-year fix.”
New video boards and aesthetics are just the beginning of what is planned. Structural renovations will ensure the venue is among the top in college football for years to come, and some more space could be opened for gameday use.
It’s an ambitious project, but Stricklin has already done well building a new home for Florida baseball (Condron Ballpark) and the new Heavener Training Center.
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