Arkansas explores cost analysis for Razorback Stadium expansion

Courtesy, UA Athletics

The University of Arkansas is getting serious about expanding the north end zone of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

Officials this week issued requests for design and construction proposals as part of a market and cost analysis for the project.

The expansion would add more seats and suites, and would also provide a new concourse to help clear up foot traffic congestion inside the facility for fans moving from one side of the stadium to the other.

When first mentioned last year, the expansion seemed like more of a pipe dream along with several other projects in the university’s athletics master facilities plan.

However, the UA has already built new football practice fields, a new HD scoreboard and a new soccer clubhouse. An estimated $35 million football operations center should be complete by next summer.

Plus, in September, the UA approved the construction of three more facilities: a Student-Athlete Success Center, a basketball practice center and a baseball and track indoor training facility.

According to UA officials, the purpose of the analysis is to specifically examine seating capacity, design, construction, economic variables and the overall demand for additional seating at Razorback Stadium. Once that process is complete, the university will seek approval from the Board of Trustees before moving forward with the study.

UA athletics director Jeff Long has said the 242,000-296,000-square-foot expansion could add as many as 5,000 seats and would likely cost $78-95 million.

“As we begin to consider an expansion in the north end zone of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, it is important we have sound information from which to make a decision,” said Long in a news release. “The analysis will help us have a clearer understanding of the many variables that must be thoroughly examined before making a decision to move forward. It is important that we continue to strive to accommodate the current and future seating demands of Razorback fans.”

Unveiled in October 2011, the Razorback Athletic Facilities Master Plan established a vision and a road map for $320 million of facility renovations and additions designed to help all 19 Razorback sports remain competitive in the Southeastern Conference and nationally over the next 30 years.