TCU plans to spend $100 million on luxury suites and premium seating at Amon G. Carter Stadium, after a “fantastic” response to a survey of season-ticket holders.
The school announced the fundraising campaign on Tuesday, five years after a $164 million overhaul that was completed before TCU’s first season in the Big 12.
The project will add two new levels of luxury seating above the upper deck on the east side of the stadium. The expansion includes two private clubs, more than 1,000 club seats and 20 luxury suites. A 100-foot balcony will overlook Frog Alley, the TCU campus and downtown Fort Worth.
Athletic director Chris Del Conte said almost 2,000 season-ticket holders responded to the survey of 8,000, describing what they would like to see in new suites and club seats.
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”Most fans have already experienced AT&T Stadium, they’ve experienced other stadiums,” Del Conte said. “We wanted to see what amenities they wanted.”
If the fundraising goal is met by its April 2018 deadline, construction will begin in May, with completion expected in time for the 2019 season.
“That’s going to be nice,” sophomore cornerback Jeff Gladney said. “They said it’s going to be done my senior year. It’ll be fun playing there.”
TCU spent $164 million to renovate Amon G. Carter Stadium following the Horned Frogs’ undefeated Rose Bowl season in 2010.
Since Gary Patterson took over the program in 2000, TCU has been one of the winningest programs in college football. The Horned Frogs have won at least 10 games in 10 of those seasons.
This season, the No. 11 Horned Frogs are tied for second in the Big 12 and will play in the conference championship if they defeat Texas Tech on Saturday and Baylor in the final game of the regular season on Nov. 24.
Despite the success, fans have filled the stadium only once this season, for the prime-time game against Texas on Nov. 4.
But the demand for premium seats and luxury suites is high. Del Conte said the school has a wait list of 1,000 people for club seats.
“The experiential seating, where they want that experience, that great seat, the food, all the amenities that go with it … that’s what fans want today,” he said during an interview in October.
The back of the suite level will feature a balcony running 90 feet, Del Conte said.
“The back side, if you ever walk up that high, you see all of downtown Fort Worth,” he said. “It is absolutely spectacular. We can use the club year round and host many, many events on campus.”
The university has spent much of the decade renovating, expanding or adding athletic facilities. Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena, complete with a university sports Hall of Fame and new athletic offices and locker rooms, debuted in December 2015 after a $72 million renovation of Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.
Del Conte said the work would be done by HKS, the same architectural firm that did the new Amon G. Carter Stadium and Schollmaier Arena.
In 2016, improvements at Lupton Stadium included a locker room, classroom, team lounge, training room, equipment room, coaches offices, a new scoreboard and video board in left field and terraced seating in right field.
A new field and terraced seating were installed at Garvey-Rosenthal Stadium beofore the women’s soccer team’s home opener in August.
Del Conte said the football practice fields will also be resurfaced.
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Big 12 stadium spree
Recent renovations at Big 12 football stadiums:
Baylor: $266 million stadium opened in 2014
Iowa State: $60 million renovation completed in 2014
Kansas: $350 million project announced in September
Kansas State: $185 million renovation completed in 2016
Oklahoma: $160 renovation completed in 2016
Oklahoma State: $282 renovation completed in 2009
TCU: $164 million renovation in 2012, $100 million project announced Tuesday
Texas: $177 million renovation completed in 2009
Texas Tech: $150 million in renovations since 2003
West Virginia: $55 million renovation complete in 2017