- The University of Texas announced Thursday that it has selected Kansas City-based architecture firm Populous to design a $175 million renovation and expansion of its Longhorn football team's Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
- The construction project at the venue's south end zone will fully enclose the 95-year-old stadium. The project will see the addition of new entry towers, terraces with concession areas, a Longhorn logo-shaped balcony cut into the seating bowl, a student seating area with multiple patios, loge seating, suites, a new broadcasting stage, new coaching and staff offices, a field-level club and student-athlete training facilities.
- "The modern game day experience is about quality, not quantity," said Sherri Privitera, Populous Principal-in-Charge for the expansion. "Fans want unique experiences in an authentic place. This is a game-changing project." Populous' previous sports-related projects include four other end zone projects at the University of Arkansas, University of Oklahoma, Kansas State University and the University of Colorado. UT's south end project is scheduled to begin next summer and wrap up in time for the start of the 2021 college football season.
When universities and major league sports teams decide to build a new stadium or perform extensive remodeling work on an existing facility, they often turn to known experts in this specialty niche of construction and design.
For instance, Populous has designed 1,325 stadiums across 34 countries for an estimated total construction value of $23 billion. These projects include Texas A&M's Kyle Field in College Station, Texas; Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minnesota; Audi Field in Washington D.C.; State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona; Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri; and Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
And just like some specialty design firms, there are also construction companies that focus on this area, such as Mortenson. Some of the company's projects — both complete and still underway — include Allianz Field, one of Populous' projects; the Milwaukee Bucks' Fiserv Forum; the Chase Center in San Francisco; U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis; Suntrust Park outside of Atlanta; and the new stadium that will be home to the Oakland Raiders after the franchise makes it move to Las Vegas.
Not only do companies that establish themselves in sports construction — or any other niche, such as hospitals or bridge building — offer pertinent expertise that can help streamline the construction process, they also can give a less experienced design team some pointers as to what works and what doesn't in the field.