The University of Nebraska Athletic Department has submitted two building projects to the University of Nebraska Board of Regents for approval at the Oct. 15 Board Meeting. The Board of Regents will be asked to approve $55.5 million budget for improvements to the East Stadium in Memorial Stadium as well as a proposed capital improvement expenditure of $4.75 million for a new baseball and softball indoor practice facility at Haymarket Park.
The Nebraska Athletic Department is proposing an expansion plan for the east side of Memorial Stadium, which will increase Memorial Stadium’s attendance to more than 90,000.
The Stadium was last expanded in 2006 when 6,500 seats were added to the stadium’s north end, along with a large HuskerVision screen, Skyline Suites and athletic office space. The stadium currently has 3,600 club seats in the West Stadium and 61 suites in the West and North Stadiums.
Nebraska has the nation’s longest sellout streak at 307 and last year ranked among the top 10 in average attendance.
Pending approval by the board, NU plans to expand Memorial Stadium by adding approximately 5,000 new seats, which will include between 2,000 and 2,250 new club seats, approximately 400 to 500 seats within approximately 30 new indoor/outdoor suites, and approximately 2,500 to 2,800 new general seats, including additional seating for disabled patrons.
A new grand lobby, expanded concourse, and additional first-aid areas would also be added. No current East Stadium seats will be removed and no season ticket holders will be required to relocate their seats as part of this project.
The proposed height of the new addition to be constructed above and around the current east balcony will be similar to the West Stadium, completed in 1999.
NU Athletics is also submitting a proposal to the Board of Regents for approval of a capital improvement expenditure for an indoor practice facility at Haymarket Park to be used by the Husker baseball and softball teams.
NEBCO, Nebraska’s public/private partner at Haymarket Park, will be responsible for the construction in accordance with the Haymarket Park agreements, while the athletic department will be responsible for the financing of this $4.75 million project.
The new indoor practice facility will include batting cages, pitching mounds, a turf system suitable for infield practice and a netting system for live hitting. The proposed 22,000 square-foot practice facility would be located at Haymarket Park, east of the Bowlin Softball Stadium and north of the Hawks Baseball Field.
Haymarket Park does not currently have indoor batting cages, and the Nebraska baseball and softball teams must use the indoor practice facility provided within the Hawks Championship Center. The addition of on-site batting facilities will enhance Nebraska’s opportunities to host regional baseball and softball tournaments in accordance with NCAA guidelines.
The proposal calls for funding to come from athletic private donations and bond revenues generated from the new seating. No state appropriated funds will be used for either project.