Interesting ideas for Stegeman Coliseum, Sanford Stadium

Athens — Interesting meeting of the UGA Athletic Association board of directors on Wednesday.

The big news was the board’s approval of a recommendation by AD Damon Evans to keep the Georgia-Florida football  game in Jacksonville through 2016.  Basically, the decision not to mess with the game’s 75-year tradition  came down to the fact that there wasn’t a clear, compelling, irrefutable reason to move it out of Jacksonville.  Or, as UGA President Michael Adams put it: “I think there would have to be overwhelming reasons and overwhelming sentiment to change.”  And there weren’t.  The reason cited by some -– Georgia’s 3-16 record in the past 19 meetings with the Gators –- was rejected by Evans and, ultimately, the board.  “I’m not a believer we are losing the game because we are playing down in Jacksonville, Fla.,”  Evans  told the board.   “I truly believe our team can beat anybody anywhere.”  Evans added later that he has studied the records of the series. “The thing I see,” he said, “is that we’ve had success in Jacksonville.  In fact, we’ve had more success there than Florida.” Just not in the past two decades.  Anyway, here’s my full story on the decision.

Oh, and Mark Richt’s reaction was interesting, too:  He didn’t say much. That story is here.

The board also approved spending $1.9 million for design work on a couple of interesting projects: an expansion and total renovation of the concourses at Stegeman Coliseum and the addition of a multi-purpose amenities area behind the north stands of Sanford Stadium.

The idea for Stegeman basically is to move out the outer walls to the point where the roof ends its overhang of  the current structure, adding 10,000 square feet of concourse space and what Evans calls a “wow” factor to the 45-year-old coliseum.  The number of restrooms and concessions areas would be sharply increased, and the building would be modernized with a glass façade.

The idea for Sanford Stadium is to create a plaza with concessions areas, restrooms and other amenities behind the north stands (in the “Reed Alley” area between the stadium and Reed Hall).   The entrances to the plaza would be configured so that it  is part of the stadium on game days but accessible from campus on other days.

If design and financing plans come together, Evans expects to go back to the board this winter and ask for approval to proceed with the projects. He’d like for the Stegeman project to be completed by the start of the 2010-11 basketball and gymnastics seasons and for the Sanford project to be completed by the start of the 2010 football season.

You like these ideas?

94 comments Add your comment

ludatripp

September 24th, 2009
2:25 am

i would prefer they start wrapping the third deck around more instead

ATHENSGIRL

September 24th, 2009
4:28 am

Luda – wrapping the 3rd deck around would be a logistical nightmare. They would either have to build a tunnel for East Campus Rd or get rid of the road altogether, and that is one of the heaviest traveled roads 359 days of the year. Short of shutting the road down for a year or two, that’s not going to happen.

Loudass Dawg

September 24th, 2009
6:41 am

UGA should close in the west endzone over the bridge at Sanford Stadium. It would put some passonate dawg fans there and make Sanford more intimidating while the old folgies sits on their hands. Ive seen sketches of the west deck and it would look awesome. On Stegman it needs to be torn down and start over. Its an ugly venue.

DamnGoodDawg

September 24th, 2009
7:05 am

I don’t think our record against Florida is as much the fault of game location as it is of superior coaching…Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer. This year is probably going to be more of the same. Maybe we can keep from being embarrassed or blown out this time out.

Bulldog Bob

September 24th, 2009
7:23 am

Atleast the Gators have not come to Athens every other year and beat us like a red headed step child the past twenty years. I am sad to think we have alumni and fans that actually believe we have lost to Florida due to the location. We have to recruit and coach better bulldogs to catch the gators. I love the Jacksonville venue. Thanks for keeping it in Jacksonville mr. Evans.

nate

September 24th, 2009
7:25 am

I would rather them close off the second deck above the bridge and leave a viewing window open for the bridge. We need more seats…and we need to close off where so much of our noise escapes.

nate

September 24th, 2009
7:33 am

Okay, one more thing about Jax. I love that city…I really do. Great place…just not for this game. I am not at all saying we lose what seems like every year b/c of where it is, but do I think it occasionally tips the scales slightly….just slightly? Yes. And hey it is a game of inches and I think we are stupid if we don’t heed the thoughts of Bear Bryant and try to get every stinkin advantage we can get. That’s how you win games…by pulling out all the stops.

And in my eyes I feel like there is nothing to lose. If I’m right and we start being more competitive after a move to Athens or Atlanta, then yay for me, I was right. And if I’m wrong, well the drive home from Athens or Atlanta is a lot more enjoyable than the trail of tears back from Jacksonville year after year after year.

And everyone is entitled to their own opinion of the venue, but you are crazy if you think Damon Evans and Michael Adams care one little bit about the tradition down there. First of all if that were true, D Evans needs to start caring less about tradition and more about his job. What Willie screws up will eventually move up to CMR, and if he can’t fix what’s wrong Evans better know the $#!& always rises to the top. In the end for Evans and Adams, the venue is all about dirty green paper and personal agendas.

Stegasaurus

September 24th, 2009
7:46 am

Don’t mess with the Steg! It is a magnificent monstrosity.

Joe M

September 24th, 2009
8:31 am

I see everyone’s points about closing the bridge side and noise escaping, but I think closing the bridge would be more painful than you all realize. What a great open door into Sanford that provides throughout the year.

There are several ways around East Campus Rd. that could be utilized while they finish the wrap around. I can;t believe there is not a very prodective way to finish the wrap around and keep the overall integrity of East Campus road entact after completion.

Joe M

September 24th, 2009
8:32 am

Man those typos are ugly.

YoungDawg

September 24th, 2009
8:42 am

Finally they’re doing something Stegeman! This sounds like a quick fix. Are they doing anything to add boxes or seats? Also glad to hear that there upgrading something related to Sanford. Only problem with the location of the “entry plaza” but just like many other people our seats are on the Southside. I like the idea of an entry plaza but think they should also do something on a smaller scale outside the west end zone gates. I agree they need to close in the West end zone or wrap the 3rd deck around so one or both those roads are going to have to be addressed as part of it.

kydawg

September 24th, 2009
8:48 am

I like that idea of finishing the area over the bridge but leaving a concourse/viewing area for the “bridge goers”. That would crank up the volume in the stadium as well. I think our road record is better than our home record here lately, isn’t it?

robodawg

September 24th, 2009
9:11 am

Sounds like a great start to modernizing Stegeman, and the plaza at Sanford also sounds like a great idea. But please don’t mess with the west endzone. The open view of the hills of Athens on a fall afternoon makes Sanford one of the prettiest stadiums anywhere. The planners know this, that’s why they went up instead (yeah, the 600 level seats are not nearly as good as the 300 level — but the windfall in ticket sales was too hard to pass up).

disgruntled Dawg

September 24th, 2009
9:14 am

Too much money is being spent on bricks and mortar!. Its time to go out and use the money to hire some competent coaches who can bring UGA Championships. We need a Saban or a Meyer who understands how to build a strong strong football program. CMR has clearly taken UGA as far as he can. UGA needs to move up to the next level on a strong consistent basis. This buffoon of a coaching staff has been wasting good talent and UGA is now becoming a laughing stock. One other thing , UGA needs the black forward G on the scoreboard at Sanford Stadium. The Red one is not the G! UGA needs to spend the money and get things right so we as fans have a program we deserve. Michael Adams and Damon Evans, Please get it right!

Fla Tide

September 24th, 2009
9:26 am

Alabama upgraded Coleman Colusiem the same way you guys are talking about Stegeman. I’ve actually been in Stegeman, and its not a pretty site. Anyway, they cleaned up Coleman and made it more open and upgraded the concessions and ancient restrooms. Its better, but not great. So, at least they are doing something about it over at UGA. An alternative would be build a new one in the parking lot next to the old, and then tear down the old and make it parking. But thats serious $$$$s. Stanford, close int he endzone. Your “bridge-goers”, please. Tough sh*t. Build a upper deck with syk boxes inbetween. Then people can walk off that bridge straight into the stadium. It will give you tons more money and help with the sound. Also, another upper deck would make that place look silly, just like the 3rd deck you have going now.

Eddie Ray

September 24th, 2009
9:27 am

Stegeman is a dump. Designed for ag shows and rodeos. It’s a crime for a basketball program to loose quality players to out of state schools because of that embarrassment. Renovating that dump is like putting lipstick on a sow.

Jeff

September 24th, 2009
9:39 am

Have you seen the plans for Steg? The glass makes it look completely different. Plus at this point it’s gone from Dinosaur to retro futuristic cool. Seriously it’s completely unique and with the modernization it will be a solid facility and much better than a sterile new arena. Looking forward to it! Also don’t close in the end zone and ruin Sanford’s uniqueness too.

Sanford Drive

September 24th, 2009
9:49 am

Jeff, I don’t think they’ll ever close in the end zone at Sanford, which is good because it’s fun to see the stadium from the road, but bad because we’ll never have a LOUD stadium.

GW

September 24th, 2009
9:50 am

I’m glad the game is staying in Jax. It was the right decision. If you add seats to Sanford just where will the extras park and tailgate? Where will the extra trash go? There’s enough seats in Sanford. When scalpers are totally without tickets then think about more seats. Why build a new coliseum to lure top recruits to play in for 1-3 years? What is the character of a recruit who picks his school for the arena’s concessions and concourses? Fill the Stege every home game for 5 years with a winning team then talk about a new one.

shards1967

September 24th, 2009
10:07 am

UGA neeeds to tear down Stegeman and re-build it. If we truely believe that b ball is going to be a growth sport at UGA …………then we need to invest for the long haul. In 10 years it might start paying off. Over this period, if we CONSISTENTLY recruit Ga. blue chippers and we go to the NCAAs on a regular basis, like 7 out of the next 10 years, it would have been worth it.

Enough of that old place. Nice when I was there in the mid 60s and early 70s. The darned roof leaked then and it still does. Let’s start re building w/ bricks and sticks now. Judge the effort in say 2018 or 2019, then allow history to tell us if it was worth it.

Gooooooooooooooo Dawgs !!

UGASeven

September 24th, 2009
10:07 am

Let me get this straight; so Damon Evans thinks that a 7.5 hour, 400 mile bus ride is the same as an hour and 45min, 70 mile bus ride? This sounds like TECH Math, does not make any sense.

HELLO what about the $$$ Damon? Your home state sure could use some of that Revenue! Ya know folks; not all traditions are good, like hazing, Bigotry, racism, playing UF where the profits only help the citizens of Fla.

I hear there is a new stadium going up where the Doraville GM plant was, wow easy Highway access, plenty of room for tailgating. And GSU can have that pimple of a building, called the Dome.

Dale

September 24th, 2009
10:10 am

Can we get a link to see the proposed plans for Stegman?

shards1967

September 24th, 2009
10:11 am

In the Dooley era, UGA won plenty of games vs the Gators. Even BEFORE DOOLEY, UGA WON PLENTY. THAT IS WHY, they still own the over all wins.

It is a challenge that is worth overcoming, because once we begin to win more than we lose, like 60/’40 ……… it is a hoot. The Gators KNOW it hurts when ( if ) UGA pounds them in J’ville. We have won 2 out of the last 5. Not bad if you compare that to any other school that Florida plays.

The site does not matter.

UGA, class of 73

Sanford Drive

September 24th, 2009
10:12 am

Tear down the piece of crap Stegeman. If you want to rebuild a program, start with rebuilding the facilities. I know, some of you say, well, “Look at Duke. Their facility is old & they always have a good program.” Yeah well, Duke has some solid HISTORY associated with their facility, ours is garbage basketball being played inside a garbage facility. It only makes sense to re-do it completely.

Also, I thought they were going to build new practice facilities for football?

Cuz

September 24th, 2009
10:13 am

That open bridge area gives us what little breeze we get in the concrete sauana.

Bulldog Ben

September 24th, 2009
10:25 am

Close in the west and add more seats. What’s so great about looking at that butt ugly bridge ??? I pass 20 just like it on my commute every day. It’s not like it’s some architectural masterpiece.

OZZFEST

September 24th, 2009
10:45 am

DAMON, FIRST YOU SHOULD START WITH $500 WORTH OF PAINT AND COVER THE VERY TACKY, EXPOSED CONCRETE BLOCK ON THE “NEW” STAIRCASE TO THE 600 LEVEL ON THE OPEN END OF THE STADIUM AND THE EQUALLY UGLY CONCRETE BLOCKS THAT FLANK THE 600 LEVEL ON THE CLOSED END.

JUST PAINT THESE GRAY SO THAT THEY MATCH THE “POURED CONCRETE” LOOK OF THE REST OF THE STADIUM.

THIS UGLY OVERSIGHT HAS BEEN BOTHERING ME SINCE THE EXPANSION IN 2003. ENOUGH ALREADY…JUST PAINT IT!

Dawgdad

September 24th, 2009
10:48 am

Any reason to hope any of the local stations will pick up the game Sat? ESPNU is not widely available.

Pitbull

September 24th, 2009
10:50 am

Finish the fourth tier of stands on the east end of Sanford Stadium. Reroute East Campus Road and the rail road tracks through the cemetery for all I care. We need 100,000+ seats and we need the UGA – UF game in Athens every other years. For the South Georgia diehards, they can still drive to Jacksonville every other year and shill for tickets and play golf.

cobbdawg

September 24th, 2009
10:50 am

Close the bridge side of stadium. With the building up in the old bookstore parking lot area, the view isn’t the same anyways.

Matt

September 24th, 2009
11:08 am

The bridge side isn’t going to be closed off anytime soon. They’ve said that, so just get over it. Plus, if you’ve actually gone to school at UGA, you know how awesome a view it is when you walk over the bridge and can look into the stadium.

Not to mention, it’s hard to gauge how much noise actually leaves the stadium, since most of it quits cheering after the first quarter/when something goes bad anway.

Ferndolin

September 24th, 2009
11:11 am

Bring back the railroad tressel.

Matt

September 24th, 2009
11:11 am

By the way, if you want see actual plans for the stadium, check this out:

http://www.onlineathens.com/multimedia/pdfs/092508other_facilities.pdf

jdawg

September 24th, 2009
11:16 am

Can you Spell Bathrooms….Sanford is probably the worst around here…and were talking about something on the other side of the stadium…how about plain por of potties inside the beautiful stadium so the guys will not use the sink, and your shoes get soaked….

Captain

September 24th, 2009
11:18 am

The west end will not be decked. To do wo would require demoliton of the bridge, which cannot and will not happen. The bridge provides public safety and bus transport within the campus. However, additional rows of seats can be added to the existing area raising the level of seats to bridge height. At that point a plaza and gate entrance/exit could be built off the bridge with concourses to both the lower levels on the North and South. Exiting after a game is a mess. Additional seats can be added to the East End lower level bringing seating closer to the playing surface. After that, the extension of the 600 level wrap around, which is a costly expansion.

Glad to see Steg receiving upgrades, long over due.

Loudass Dawg

September 24th, 2009
11:21 am

I think some of you havent seen the sketches of the addition to the West endzone. It looks awesome and the bridge run under it still giving it an open air feeling if you will. I cant remember where you can find it but it is at one of the blog sites. I too didnt want to close the west end but changed my mind we I saw the sketches. This also gives UGA the option to continue to wrap the stadium to the sky boxes. I think we should spend the mony here instead of the Stegasoraus. Until we start winning in BBall UGA should spend the money on Sanford Stadium.

Go Green dawg

September 24th, 2009
11:39 am

How about some trash receptacles lined with odor killing bags for our one toothed inbred fans that tailgate. We can get them at Wal mart real cheap!

Nick

September 24th, 2009
11:40 am

Tradition and tradition alone keep this game in Jacksonville. A game win or loss here or there may have been affected not only in the last twenty years but possibly even prior thereto, but I think it all balances out. Like Evans said, prior to 1990, UGA owned that win-loss record down there (in fact, UGA still has more wins in the series) and it does come down to the individual players and coaches and circumstances. Win or lose, that’s the traditional place to play and it should remain. There are too many compromises around the nation when it comes to traditions, whether it be neutral location of a game, logos or colors, etc. I love Athens but so do I Jacksonville!
Go Dawgs!

Timmy Teebs

September 24th, 2009
12:12 pm

CMR and UGA needs to start to winning the big games and quit having the hiccups to the Vandys, Kentucky’s and South Carolina’s before thinking about stadium expansions. Big stadiums doesn’t guarantee big time programs… Just ask South Carolina.

kydawg

September 24th, 2009
1:15 pm

Where’s the sketch on the west endzone possibilities??? Anybody seen that site?

student

September 24th, 2009
2:09 pm

Regarding Stegeman- This plan is awesome….the preliminary designs look great.

Sanford Stadium- If some of you actually bothered to pay attention to UGA updates or even do a little research, there are currently NO plans to close in the west endzone. While the “plaza” idea with the window idea sounds good, it’s an outdated plan from the 70s. There is no way you could close in the west EZ without damaging the infrastructure of the campus road system. Sanford Drive actually is used for travel on non-gamedays. The Master Plan for UGA Athletics was released this spring and the plan is to extend the third deck around the east EZ. The supports would be built over a possible tunnel over east campus road.

http://www.onlineathens.com/multimedia/pdfs/092508other_facilities.pdf

cajdawg

September 24th, 2009
2:43 pm

Since we love Jacksonville so f..n much why don’t we play all of our home games there.

Loudass Dawg

September 24th, 2009
4:09 pm

Loudass Dawg

September 24th, 2009
4:19 pm

Yes it can be done student!

Frank M. Davis, Jr.

September 24th, 2009
5:09 pm

The West End will NEVER, NEVER EVER BE DOUBLE DECKED. You can take that to the bank, if yous hasn’t failed.

Stegman Coliseum reminds me of my first blind at UGA. Fat, ugly, hard to fill and embarrassing to be seen with.

Stegman NEEDS TO BE DEMOLISHED, NOT ‘IMPROVED’. UGA needs to build a state-of-the-art, 16,000 seat coliseum on the site.

The so-called facade renovation is a total waste of funds. Period

Barton H. Fitzgerald

September 24th, 2009
5:30 pm

I think enclosing the west end would be fabulous as rendered in the drawing at the Georgia Sports blog. I also think a new scoreboard with the Black Georgia G would look better than the red one which is affixed to the current scoreboard. I think the Basketball coliseum should be put on hold until how this Mr. Fox works out.

jerry

September 24th, 2009
5:49 pm

Evans told the board. “I truly believe our team can beat anybody anywhere.”

Give this guy a drug test.

Muck Fike Adams

September 24th, 2009
7:43 pm

You all are retarded. Sanford is loud enough. Isn’t 92,000 enough? Who wants to sit in the endzone and in nosebleeds. One of the most enjoyable aspects of going to UGA was walking across the bridge and looking onto the beautiful field below. It’s a lot better view than staring up the ass or a bunch of rich folks as they sit in their luxury boxes. By the way, you know what’s better than a luxury box? My 50″ flat screen, surround sound, A/C and fridge full of beer. If you’re not going to go to the GAME, don’t go to the game. Morons.

Reality Check

September 24th, 2009
7:55 pm

Close the end zone. Change is hard, but people would get used to it the same as they did the other side of the stadium. Maybe it would create enough extra seats that UGA could offer some season tickets for those of us (school teachers) who don’t make a fortune. A compromise could be reached by leaving the viewing window for the bridge. Win-win situation. Hopefully Damon Evans will get this in the works soon.

On the Jacksonville issue: winning would solve everything. I was a student at UGA in 1992 when we were winning the whole game and lost it at the end. I hated the drive back, but I don’t think the venue had much to do with the loss. The week off that Florida has had in excessive amounts, compared to UGA, probably has a whole heck of a lot more to do with it than location. Maybe people should concentrate more attention on the schedule. Damon Evans needs to push the SEC for either a week off before, or strategically schedule a cupcake before the game. If it’s important enough for Florida to do it most years, then it’s important enough for us to do it.

CatsFly

September 24th, 2009
8:30 pm

Build a new facility and Ga fans will cum. nter your comments here