After years of discussion and previous renderings that looked futuristic, we finally have an idea of what the south end zone of the future will look like at Ross-Ade Stadium. This morning the athletic department revealed renderings and a timeline for Phase 1 of the long awaited Ross-Ade Stadium renovation. We have seen lights and a new scoreboard added int he last five years, and the old South End zone bleachers were replaced by the patio several years ago, but this is the first significant overhaul of the whole stadium since 2002.
The details can be found here, but overall I like the look. There was design a few years ago that had the South End zone as a big football complex, but the new performance center attached to the Mollenkopf serves most of that role. This new design is the largest part of phase 1 and it will enclose the stadium finally with entrance tunnels now on the southeast and southwest corners. Gone is the famous Morgantown tent, replaced by the new student section and terraced club areas. The band will also now be down in front. I am curious as to what this means for the visitor’s locker room, but so is Jim Harbaugh.
Overall this will increase capacity by about 4500 people. The student section will be larger and consolidated in one end. I am sure Purdue loves it now that the east stands will have some higher priced seats now too.
The other major part of this phase is a new player entrance tunnel in the northeast corner. Currently the team has to cross John Wooden Drive and come through the stairwell tunnel on the southeast side. The new tunnel will come from the northeast side and go under Wooden Drive.
If i read this correctly it looks like an entire section will be cut out of that part of the horseshoe, kind of like Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati.
Construction will begin on the project after the Northwestern game in November, and it should be done by next season. It has been fully funded by donors and Phase 2 (which will likely be extensive) will start with more donor support.
Overall I like it. It gives us a nice South end away from the tacky tent, but I will miss Morgantown since it was the first public beer garden in the stadium.