In less than a year, Populous will break ground on the expansion and renovation of the south end zone of Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium for the Texas Longhorns, the school announced on Thursday.
The project, which is expected to cost $175 million and begin in the summer of 2019, will fully enclose the stadium for the first time, while also renovating the Moncrief-Neuhaus Athletics Complex to provide new offices for the football staff and amenities for student-athletes.
“This is a project we’ve had many discussions and meetings about over the past several months and we are thrilled to be in the final planning stages,” said athletics director Chris Del Conte. “The new south end zone will provide our student-athletes, staff and fans with the finest facility in the country and one that we all can be extremely proud of. It will feature the best of the best when it comes to student-athlete amenities and training needs, first-rate coaching staff offices and meeting rooms along with state-of-the-art opportunities and experiences for our many fans and supporters.”
Populous takes design cues from the rest of the stadium, like the entry towers on each side of the zone, then encloses it with terraces featuring concessions. One of the most interesting design elements is the Longhorn-shaped balcony in the middle of the end zone seating, which will not only house the coaching offices, but also carve a logo into a seating bowl for the first time.
The project will also feature a new stage for Longhorn Network telecasts and premium accommodations like a field-level club next to Bevo’s corral and a patio through which players will pass when entering and leaving the field. There will also be loge seating and Founders Suites.
Student seating will remain in the south end zone with access to a student terrace with concessions and seating sections with corner patios.
“The modern game day experience is about quality, not quantity. Fans want unique experiences in an authentic place,” said Sherri Privitera, Populous Principal-in-Charge for the project. “This is a game-changing project. From fully enclosing the stadium for a more intimate atmosphere to the impactful in-seat Longhorn logo, it is the ultimate celebration of The University of Texas.”
Populous expects to complete construction by the start of the 2021 season.