LAURENT — The University of Kansas is moving forward with a transformational development project to create a northern gateway to campus that includes a new multipurpose space and reimagined Kansas football facilities.
The project will transform the area near the intersection of 11th and Mississippi streets with new facilities that may include a mix of conference and entertainment spaces, retail and other functions that drive regional economic growth and generate revenue. revenue for university programming.
The project includes major upgrades to David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium – one of the nation’s oldest football venues – to create a world-class fan experience while providing Kansas Football with the facilities it needs to compete in the higher level, as well as renovations to the Anderson Family Football Complex.
KU selected HNTB, a world leader in the design of multi-purpose entertainment venues, as lead architect, in partnership with Lawrence-based Multistudio. KU has also retained the services of Nations Group, a nationwide landlord representative firm that specializes in college athletic venues and mixed-use facilities. The companies will help KU develop more specific plans, timelines and cost estimates in the coming weeks.
“The intersection near 11th and Mississippi streets is a primary campus entrance for prospective students, alumni and guests visiting KU and visiting David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium,” Chancellor Douglas A. Girod said. “For these reasons, it is the perfect location to develop a new gateway with multi-purpose facilities to better serve these audiences, generate revenue for academic programming, drive economic growth in the region, and reinvent our football facilities. “
The project will begin with renovations to the Anderson Family Football Complex, as well as site preparation work related to storm water, sanitation, Wi-Fi availability and electrical system upgrades, during the first semester of 2023. KU will select a construction manager in the weeks ahead.
The project will be funded primarily through private donations, economic development funds, premium stadium seating sales and future development opportunities that will be created at the venue.
REVENUE GENERATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT POTENTIAL
In recent years, KU leaders have pursued strategies aimed at generating revenue for university programming and stimulating regional economic growth by hosting on-campus conferences and events. Developing this project allows KU to pursue these goals in a way that benefits the university, the city of Lawrence and the region as a whole.
KU has commissioned an economic impact study to analyze the potential uses of the mixed-use space that will be developed under the project. Additionally, the university will soon begin the process of selecting a project developer to help formulate a vision for how the mixed-use facilities in and around the reimagined football stadium could be utilized.
Goals for a reimagined David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium include improvements to the playing experience, such as designing a seating bowl with improved sight lines that increase fan comfort and bring fans closer to the field; expanded concessions, accessible restrooms and seating; improved circulation in the hall; and new premium amenities such as club seats, box seats and ledge suites. The stadium design will include multi-purpose spaces to complement convention and conference facilities that may be part of the project. Kansas Athletics is partnering with Elevate Sports Ventures to host fan focus groups to solicit feedback on what fans want in a reimagined stadium. Additionally, Elevate recently conducted a survey to understand which seating and equipment options are most important to fans.
“This project is unparalleled in its vision to benefit a broad spectrum of KU constituents while signaling a new era for Kansas football,” said Travis Goff, athletic director. “Once completed, this project will ensure our football program has the facilities it needs to compete at the highest level and provide the best possible match experience for student-athletes and fans. Furthermore, we are delighted that this project goes beyond football to benefit the whole university and the regional economy.
The university’s architecture and design partners will meet with head football coach Lance Leipold next week to discuss improvements to the Anderson Family Football Complex, which will focus on the experience of student-athletes and recruitment.
“This project will have a profound impact on the future of Kansas football and the entire community,” Leipold said. “This will have a specific impact on our current and future football players, who will now have state-of-the-art facilities for training. With an up-to-date facility and a commitment to improving the Anderson Family Football Complex, our day-to-day operation will be more efficient and effective. It’s an exciting time for Kansas Football, and it certainly adds to it.
Additional details on the project will be provided in the coming weeks.
“Now, more than ever, varsity athletics — and certainly sustained success in the sport of football — is essential to the health and vibrancy of our entire college community,” Goff said. “There is enormous enthusiasm for this project among donors and partners who believe in KU’s mission, and in partnership with KU Endowment, we will reach out in earnest to our benefactors and supporters to ensure that this ambitious vision become reality.”