Friday, October 2, 2009

UNC begins sales phase for Kenan expansion

North Carolina football spokesman Kevin Best was in the Kenan Football Center suites last week beyond the west end zone at the stadium, explaining that players use them for study periods during the week because the school's student academic enrichment center is so cramped.

School officials are determined to solve that space problem, announcing Friday that the public sales phase for the planned Student-Athlete Center for Excellence - and more suites and club seats - will begin Saturday.

Located just beyond the east end zone at Kenan Stadium, the expansion is scheduled to include:

・The academic support center for athletes.

・The Carolina Leadership Academy.

・A strength and conditioning center for the school's Olympic sports program.

・Locker rooms for visiting teams.

・Club seats and individual suites for football games.

Though the premium seats are the last item listed in the school's news release, they are a vital part of the project. Plans call for sales of the club seats and suites to pay for most of the project even though they account for less than half its cost, according to the school.

The project is expected to cost $70 million to $85 million. The Board of Trustees and university administration must approve the project after the necessary private funding is secured.

"Kenan Stadium is a campus treasure, but it was built more than 80 years ago and we have been studying plans for the last decade to modernize the facility, improve the fan experience and provide better academic support for our student-athletes," North Carolina athletic director Dick Baddour said in a statement.

Baddour said the revenue from club seats and suites will help the school fund the athletic program over the next 30 years.

The academic center will measure 30,000 square feet and will triple the size of the one that opened 23 years ago.

"We are in need of a bigger facility to provide academic counseling, support and programming," said John Blanchard, senior associate director of athletics for student-athlete services.

Beyond the east end zone, the school plans to build 1,986 club seats a few feet from the field, 924 on the fourth floor and a total of 320 seats in 20 suites on the fifth floor.

The project will add 3,230 seats to the stadium's capacity.

Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

Get it done. UNC needs it so get it done.

Anonymous said...

Since they are already UNC-CH season ticket holders, maybe John Edwards and Mike Easley can share a suite?

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Baby It and Reiley.

Anonymous said...

What great timing to announce an 80 million dollar sports expenditure. Super planning guys!

Anonymous said...

I guess Butch Davis is going to try and use facilities to lure recruits since his coaching ability can't.

Anonymous said...

Where are the rants about money going away from education that were so prevalent when Charlotte announced its stadium project?

Anonymous said...

Because most of this is private funding

Anonymous said...

^Sure it is.

Typical UNC fan said...

Yeah lets expand the Dean Dome and improve our basketball facilities! Oh wait, this is expanding Kenan? Football? Um, nevermind then.

Anonymous said...

"Yeah lets expand the Dean Dome and improve our basketball facilities! Oh wait, this is expanding Kenan? Football? Um, nevermind then."


Anonymous said...

What's the purpose of this? Why not spend that $$$ on improving parking/tailgating/movement around Kenan FIRST! I'm tired of either being bused in or tailgating in a parking deck. It is REDICULOUS!

Anonymous said...

The Dean Dome is a dump. That is where the money should be spent. Is it basketball season yet?

Anonymous said...

I'm curious hwo do you improve parking not in a deck around Kenan? Do you knock down some dorms in favor of some surface parking lots? Or better yet, maybe you want to knock down the hospital so that you can have a place to tailgate 7 times a year. As to the funding, anyone who actually read up on this expansion could find the quote that says that UNC won't even seek approval from the Trustees until the majority of the funds have been raised, i.e. it is not publicly funded.

Anonymous said...

These comments are too much. Kenan needs a facelift, but the Dean Dome needs the works. That's where the $$$ should be going. How many basketball games are there each year compared to football? There's your answer.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the newly renovated Easley-Edwards Stadium at Kenan.

Anonymous said...


Wow...I knew the Heels sucked, but not this much.