The Sanford Stadium project consists of three main areas of improvement to enhance the game day experience for the student-athletes, recruits and their families, and spectators:
Home Team Locker Room: New fully functional, state of the art locker room with 95 team lockers, a coaches locker room with 20 coaches’ lockers and associated amenities, and 1 head coach’s locker room. Located in the support space is a brand new, larger sports medicine facility with portable X-Ray facilities, tape room and exam room; nutrition room with storage; and an increased in size equipment room with flexible and built-in storage solutions. The home team locker room features direct access to the field from the locker room, which has never been available previously to the team.
Recruit Club: The recruit lounge is a 500 person event facility with interactive fan experience for recruits and family at the entry. The interactive experience has several technology experiences that allow the user to interact, such as the create your own uniform kiosk and the interactive board where people can learn more about the program and university. The facility also features a large audio visual package that can be used for speeches or events and features a gaming/television watching area with televisions and soft seating for recruits to enjoy. The Recruit Lounge also features an outdoor terrace with removable bleacher seating for added flexibility.
Fan Amenities: To enhance the game day experience, the restroom capacity, number of concessions points of sales, and amount of ADA all increased. The design and construction team has worked with the client and end user to create a better fan experience for the 20,000 fans, staff, athletes, coaches, students, and player families who are able to use the west end. ADA seating is now available at three levels with companion seating: Field level, Recruit Lounge level, and the Plaza level. Concessions have been enhanced by having both traditional concessions and flexible “Augusta” style concessions. Additionally, the restroom availability has been vastly increased. Particular attention was paid to the aesthetics of this area in order to create a cohesive marriage of aesthetics from campus and the stadium. Upgraded graphics and increased opportunities for fan photos and interaction have been placed throughout the field level area to make sure the fan experience is on par or exceeds other areas in the stadium.
The west end area of Sanford Stadium is a complex area to perform selective demolition and construction. As the design builder, our responsibility was to perform full site and utility analyses, including geotechnical investigations in coordination with the owner, and to create a functional, aesthetically appealing, and long last space. Tanyard Creek is located to the south of the site and continues under the construction site through the stadium. The team worked on solutions to protect this almost 60 year old culvert. Gillis Bridge and the Tate Student Center are located to the west of the project, both of which see approximately 15,000 students, faculty, staff, and visitors daily. Additionally, the existing scoreboard was removed and a new scoreboard and updated sound system were installed. The columns of the 33% larger scoreboard form the new Gate 1 entrance off the bridge onto the new plaza level, which connects Gillis Bridge to the Sanford Stadium seating bowl.
Coordination with UGA and Athletics were key to this project to minimize interruptions to campus events, football camps, football practice, media events and the football season. We completed storm line installation in the field after Commencement 2017 and in between football summer camps in order to allow UGA and Athletics to operate without interruption. One of the requirements of this project was to keep the west end operational during the football season for the six home games. During the week prior to the home game, the jobsite would prepare for the upcoming event by creating temporary vomitories, restrooms, stairs and access to the bowl, fencing, concessions, gating/ticketing, wayfinding and first aid facilities. DPR provided all temporary facilities for the game days and managed the logistics associated with the infrastructure for the game day fan experience and Dawg Walk, spending weeks working through logistics with campus police, campus life safety, campus fire marshals, stadium food service, event management and Athletics. Approximately 12,000-18,000 students, fans, player families, visitors, and staff accessed the west end zone on each game day. Throughout the six home games, over 90,000 people visited the west end zone with zero incidents and the fastest and most profitable concessions in the stadium.