UT Regents Approve $175 Million Upgrade To Longhorns' Football Stadium

The University of Texas System Board of Regents gave approval Thursday to a $175 million revamp of the Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial football stadium, in Austin, that will largely be paid for by donors and ticket sales.

The project, funded without tuition or taxpayer dollars, school officials say, would add "new suites, clubs, loge boxes, sponsor amenities, modified fan seating and new coaches' offices," to the south end zone of UT-Austin's football stadium, according to system documents.

The renovation is expected to be primarily financed by gifts, with $30 million of a hoped-for $125 million pledged so far. The system's governing board on Thursday authorized the school to borrow an additional $50 million in revenue bonds that will be paid off with proceeds from tickets and premium seating.

"The addition at the south end zone will provide an enhanced game day experience for fans and create additional revenue for Texas Athletics," the system documents say. "This project will further support student athlete recruitment and retention and help keep football revenues at a high level." An expansion of the north end zone of the stadium was completed in 2008.

Of the project's total planned cost, $85 million is slated to be spent on the south end zone addition, $15 million on architectural and design services, and $20 million on renovating an athletic center with "the latest technology in sports medicine and rehabilitation services," the documents say.

Project documents released by the school in the spring, and obtained by the Austin American-Statesman, cited a desire to construct open air concourses, a banquet kitchen, private game-day parking, exclusive suites, and premium and student seating.

The project is expected to be largely completed by July 2021, with construction starting around the summer of 2019. UT-Austin President Greg Fenves will need to authorize expenditures and approve "design development plans" at a later date, the system documents say.

Fenves told regents Thursday that the number of seats in the stadium, some 100,000, would not be increased by the project.