Commonwealth Stadium Renovation Big Step Closer

Reported by: Aaron Adelson
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Updated: 1/10/2013 7:01 pm
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AAdelsonABC36

Commonwealth Stadium could be on the verge of a major face lift. 

Kentucky's Governor, the Republican state Senate President, and the Democratic Speaker of the House support a plan allowing the state's universities to issue $363 million in bonds for campus improvements. 

Without costing taxpayers a dime, UK wants to spend $65 million to renovate the Gatton School of Business and Economics, $100 million on a new science building (funded primarily by the Athletics Department), and $110 million on renovating Commonwealth Stadium. 

University of Kentucky's Athletic Director, Mitch Barnhart, says spending $110 million should tell Solid Blue fans, recruits, and current players UK is serious about its commitment to football. 

One of the main priorities of the renovation is to improve the fan experience. 

"We're competing with 70 inch televisions at home.  So, we've got to make sure that what we put together, not only product on the field, but the experience when they come to the game is something people want to feel good about," said UK Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart. 

He wants to improve restrooms and concession stands at the stadium.  Barnhart also plants to add 2,000 club seats and about 20 private suits, but the renovation is also for the players.

"Make sure that they know this is about them too.  There will be some things in the locker room, media area, training room for gameday, obviously some things in Nutter training center for medical care and cardio, in our weight rooms, and those kind of things," said Barnhart. 

UK President Eli Capilouto explains why the university believes spending $110 million on the football stadium is a wise investment. 

"Football is key to the financial success of our Athletic Department.  It makes possible the 20 other Athletic programs. 

The University estimates the renovations at Commonwealth Stadium will be finished in time for the 2015 football season.  Mitch Barnhart says this renovation is about becoming a power in college football.   
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