This afternoon UB fans were given a look into the future of athletics facilities on campus. The most significant potential changes, as you can probably guess, revolve around UB Stadium and the football facilities.
Bull Run is going to have a lot of coverage on this, because there's a lot to talk about, but for now, here's a summary of the planned changes to the football facilities.
We already know quite a bit about this. Adding luxury seating to UB Stadium will help bring in bigger chunks of money. Fundraising for the East Club and deposits on future seats have been underway for several months now. While Danny White has planned the 2014 schedule to potentially feature four home games in the first five or six weeks, there will be seasons when the option of indoor seating deeper in the fall will help the Bulls combat weather-related attendance drop off.
It feels so natural, and yet it's almost a surprise to see. Message board heroes for years have been bemoaning the track ringing the field at UB stadium, and have noted that removing the track and lowering the field would offer the space to stick some seating in between the existing bunkers. Lowering the field will also allow for the construction of seats further down the sideline, again helping UB Stadium feel a little more closed in and contained.
In the past, the shallow water table and cost of digging down have been proposed as reasons against an overhaul, but it seems that it's less of a concern to White.
Sideline Patio & Sloped Seating Area
And yet, right now it doesn't look like Athletics feels more seats are the best way to bring fans closer to the action. Touting the benefit of a "more intimate" UB Stadium, the area formerly occupied by the track will be converted into a "Sideline Patio," which looks a like the space currently at the ends of the field where you can walk around and watch the game without being tied to your seat.
Additionally, the bleachers in the South End Zone will be removed and replaced with a Wiliamsport-esque hill, which we're apparently officially calling a "sloped seating area." I can imagine this will be a family-friendly area of the stadium.
Tie all this together with a building that brings all of football operations under one roof. The Football Headquarters building will sit between the West stands and the moved-in bleachers, helping UB Stadium look a little more closed in. From a functional standpoint, the HQ will have breakout rooms and offices for the entire coaching staff, while being streamlined enough to meet the football program's space needs while not infringing on other student-athlete space.
It's important to remember that these proposed changes are part of a larger master plan. Keep checking out Bull Run for more commentary. And make sure to vote in the poll down below the Next Clicks.