Renovation Project Planned for Hancock
NORMAL, Ill. - For the first time since 1961, when the structure was originally built, major renovations will be made to Illinois State's Hancock Stadium, as announced by ISU President Al Bowman at his annual "State of the University Address" Tuesday.
The approximate $20 million project will be paid for through a variety of funding sources.
"(Hancock Stadium) is literally the most visible front door to our campus," Bowman said. "It is the first structure most people see when arriving at Illinois State from Main Street. It is a quickly-noticed landmark that should reflect the top quality and high standards of this institution. Unfortunately, it does exactly the opposite."
Illinois State Director of Athletics Gary Friedman also expressed his excitement for this announcement.
"On behalf of the entire athletics department, I would like to thank President Bowman and the Board of Trustees for their leadership and vision, along with the help of the current and previous staff, on making this project a reality," Friedman said. "Obviously this is a big day for Illinois State University, its athletics department and a great next step for the football program. Redbird fans and the community are also winners in this project. Fan amenities were at the forefront of the design and we hope that this renovation will be one our campus and community will enjoy for many years to come."
ISU head football coach Brock Spack understands the benefits for the community and campus, but also sees it as a positive for his program.
"There is an arms race when it comes to facilities for student-athletes in collegiate athletics and it plays a major factor in the recruiting process," Spack said. "These new renovations will help us significantly in that process and continue to bring in talented and high-achieving student-athletes to the program and the University."
With nine million cars driving in front of Hancock Stadium on Main Street annually, the primary focus of the renovation will be on the stadium's east side, after a complete demolition of the existing east side stands. The construction of the new east grandstand, which is scheduled to be completed prior to the 2013 football season, will include a two-story enclosed structure to house a minimum of eight suites, a club level with a minimum 500 seats and a club room and a media and event production facility. The club level will be consistent with the expectations of similar hospitality areas at NCAA Division I programs.
The east side grandstand will seat an estimated 7,500 fans, each with chair backs, increasing the overall capacity of Hancock Stadium to approximately 14,000. The structure will also feature a catering kitchen, concessions, ticketing, outdoor terrace spaces and other guest services, while also serving as an attractive presence and entry way into campus on Main Street with brick columns and glass walls.
In addition, the existing press box area on the west side of Hancock Stadium will be renovated for coaches boxes.
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