As the University of Nebraska celebrates the 100th anniversary of Memorial Stadium, the Board of Regents is set to consider renovation plans that will modernize the state’s most iconic facility for its next century and beyond.
Plans for the $450 million renovation will go before the Board at its Oct. 5 meeting. The meeting begins at 9 a.m. at the Wigton Heritage Center, 42nd and Emile streets on the University of Nebraska Medical Center campus in Omaha. The meeting is open to the public and will also be live-streamed at www.nebraska.edu.
Informed by a 2022 survey that drew responses from 22,000-plus Husker fans about what improvements they wanted to see in the stadium, the modernization project has three overarching goals, according to Athletic Director Trev Alberts:
- Enhance the evolving fan experience that encourages families to come to Memorial Stadium on game day.
- Ensure a modern facility with infrastructure suited for the next century.
- Provide equitable and affordable access for all Husker fans, including dedicated space for students.
“One hundred years ago, Nebraskans came together to celebrate the first game at Memorial Stadium – the start of what would become a century’s worth of memories for students, alumni, fans and families all across our state,” Alberts said. “Now our fans have an opportunity to come together again to ensure that we can make memories for another century. After 100 years, the reality is our stadium needs significant modernization.
“A project of this scale can’t happen without some degree of disruption, but we ask our fans to give us grace as we work through our ambitious plans. We could not be more excited to bring this proposal to the Board of Regents and share our vision with Nebraskans for making Memorial Stadium the home of one of the best fan experiences in college athletics.”
“The University of Nebraska is proud to be investing in excellence in all areas – academic and athletic. Facilities are a crucial part of that strategy,” said University of Nebraska President Ted Carter. “Just as we are making unprecedented investments in our classroom and laboratory space, outstanding athletics facilities help to build Nebraskans’ excitement about their university and add to the power of our national brand.
“This project is an exciting part of our vision for Nebraska to compete at the highest levels across the board.”
If approved by the Board, the project will be paid equally from private funds ($225 million) and other funding sources, including up to $50 million from the university’s internal lending program. No student tuition dollars or university general operating dollars will be used. Unlike most athletic departments, Nebraska’s does not receive a subsidy from the university.
Specific planned renovations include:
- South Stadium demolition and replacement with chair-back general seating.
- New chair-back seating in West and East stadiums.
- 360-degree main-level concourse connection and 270-degree upper-level concourse connection.
- Concession upgrades, refurbished menu options and added points of sale throughout the stadium.
- Restroom modernization throughout the stadium.
- Academic curriculum space, with specific uses guided by UNL’s academic leadership.
- Enhanced student life amenities.
- ADA upgrades throughout the stadium.
Pending Board approval of a waiver of Regents Policy 6.3.6, $45 million in infrastructure work will begin soon, prior to the Board’s review of intermediate design documents. The policy waiver is being sought so as much work as possible can be completed during the off-season.
Completion of the entire stadium renovation project is targeted for July 2026, with occupancy to follow in August.
Additional highlights of the Oct. 5 Board of Regents meeting
The meeting will lead off with an update on NU’s “Five-Point Plan” from President Carter. The host chancellor, Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., will also provide a UNMC update.
Other key items for the Board’s consideration include:
- Establishment the University of Nebraska Building Renewal Fund. (Addendum XI-B-1)
- A waiver of Regents Policy 6.3.6 related to project sequencing for Project Health at UNMC. (Addendum XI-B-8)
- Plans for the Saddle Creek Campus Research Component of the CORE Building at UNMC. (Addendum XI-B-9)
- Adoption of a resolution related to the “core leadership pillars” in the search for the next University of Nebraska president. (Addendum XI-C-1)