TEMPE, AZ - For more than a decade, ASU fans have been talking about a new and improved Sun Devil Stadium.
On Tuesday night, instead of wondering, speculating, or imagining, President Michael Crow gave ASU donors an actual glimpse of what a renovated might look like.
"This plan gives ASU an opportunity to increase our investment in the community and to set the standard for collegiate athletics facilities," Crow said after unveiling the stadium renderings.
The game plan for Sun Devil Stadium, which opened in 1958, includes adding a terrace pavilion, a double-sided video board, a new student section and escalators. Plus, the Tillman Tunnel, where the Sun Devil players enter the field, will stay.
However, any and all plans for proposed shade canopies have been eliminated due to a multitude of factors, including cost.
"This venue will blend tradition with all the elements of a top-tier facility and put us at the top of the league," ASU football coach Todd Graham said.
Once the Arizona Board of Regents approves the $225 million project, the work is expected to begin in the spring of 2015 and be finished by mid-2017. At the same time, ASU announced a $50 million fundraising campaign to help fund the renovation, which ASU says will not include any public funding.
In fact, when I asked Dr. Crow to name the biggest challenge facing the renovation project, it's not surprising that he cited the financing plan.
"The other stadiums and facilities around the Valley are financed through public arrangements," Dr. Crow said. "More important than that is we want the experience in this stadium to be unique and modern, as well as electronic in the way the world operates these days."
In a separate project, ASU is removing 5,700 seats in the upper north end zone. As a result, the refurbished stadium will have a seating capacity of 60,000, instead of the current 71,706.