AUSTIN (KXAN) — A big screen, multiple tiers, a Longhorn logo that can be seen from the air and stands filled with fans: that’s the vision for Darrell K. Royal-Memorial Stadium’s south end zone at the University of Texas at Austin. Along with a new rendering, the school announced it selected a designer for the $175 million upgrade.
Architecture firm Populous will handle the expansion and renovation, which will fully-enclose the stadium. One of the defining features is a balcony in the shape of a Longhorn that can be seen from on high designed as part of the end-zone seating, the first time a logo will be carved into a seating bowl, according to the school.
“It is the ultimate celebration of The University of Texas,” said Sherri Privitera, Populous principal-in-charge for the project.
Other amenities include:
- A student terrace with concessions
- Student seating section with corner patios
- A new stage for the Longhorn Network
- A Bevo corral
- Field-level club and patio
- Loge seating and Founders Suites
- Coaches’ offices
- Loading dock
- Athletic center upgrades
UT Austin expanded the North End Zone in 2008. Last summer, the Longhorns locker room got a $100,000 upgrade after Coach Tom Herman said that was one of the items on his to-do list when he took the job.
While the education and athletics budgets are separate, sophomore Alexa Craig thinks more money made off of UT sporting events should go to other college departments instead of a stadium expansion.
“It is really aesthetically pleasing to the campus, however, I do believe that UT could spend the money better,” said Craig, “I definitely feel like the expansion of the stadium just symbolizes how UT prioritizes.”
Jacquie Flayhive and Emily Chambers are visiting Austin from Colorado and California and think the new renderings fit in just fine. In fact, they expected nothing less from a state like Texas and a university like UT-Austin.
“IIt really is about the fans getting behind their team. So if they have somewhere they love to go to see their team, then it’s the right place to go,” said Flayhive.
“I think it’s exciting. It’s got the big longhorn that you’d expect. I think the picture of the new stadium brings that high level that you’d expect from a team that’s so well known,” said Chambers.
The expansion is set to break ground in summer 2019. The University hopes the project is completed by Fall football season kickoff in 2021.