“Funds for stadium complete.” That headline in Wednesday’s edition of the Skiff spoke volumes about the tremendous support TCU has from its alumni, the Fort Worth community and other donors who gave us the unprecedented honor of having the first stadium in the country to have its renovation actually paid for before the project begins.
Of course, coach Gary Patterson, his staff and our great team with its winning ways are certainly making it easier for donors to make this commitment. It seems to be a win-win situation for everyone. Our new stadium has been designed by HKS Sports and Entertainment Group, the same group who designed the Cowboys’ new mega-stadium. Plans also include elevators, escalators, a new seating bowl, a new press box along with upgraded restrooms and better concession stands 8212; all a real plus.
However, I did notice in the article one real minus that really raises a question in my mind about the new renovation.
“The new version of Amon G. Carter Stadium will have a seating capacity of 40,000, smaller than the 44,008 fans it holds today.”
I always thought one of the primary objectives of building or renovating a stadium was to increase the fan base with additional seating for more exposure and, of course, more ticket revenue 8212; especially in the case of a championship team like our Frogs who are generating continued national recognition game after game.
So, where are the existing 4,008 seats going? Are they being sacrificed for the new seating bowl or new press box? I have been in the stadium when it was standing-room only. So it just doesn’t seem to make sense that 4,008 or even more fans in the future will be left standing outside the stadium on a big game day. I must be missing something here. When Jerry Jones left the old Cowboys’ stadium in Irving to build the new one in Arlington, he didn’t do it to move into a new stadium with less seating.
Since Carter is being renovated by the same HKS group who increased the Cowboys’ stadium capacity in Arlington without sacrificing the visual experience for the fans, surely they can do the same for us 8212; especially with $105 million going into the project.
As Chris Del Conte, TCU Athletic Director, stated in the article, “If you don’t invest, you become a one and done.” I agree 110 percent with Del Conte’s insight, but I think a major part of the investment should be in the fan base with increased seating in Carter Stadium.
I don’t want to be one of the 4,008 “one and done” fans standing on the outside of the new stadium next year listening to games. I want to be on the inside cheering them on along with the additional fans that could be included with increased seating!
Mike Wood, TCU faculty (Ret.)