At its Friday meeting, the University of Nebraska Board of Regents approved the Nebraska Athletics program statement and $55.5 million budget for improvements to the East Stadium in Memorial Stadium as well as a proposed capital improvement expenditure of $4.75 million for a new baseball and softball indoor practice facility at Haymarket Park.
The East Stadium proposal calls for funding to come from athletic private donations and bond revenues generated from the new seating. The Indoor Practice Facility will be paid for through athletic private donations. No state appropriated funds will be used for either project.
"We are pleased that the Board of Regents has given us approval to move forward on expanding Memorial Stadium with the East Stadium Improvement Project and also for us to work with NEBCO to build an indoor baseball and softball practice facility at Haymarket Park," Nebraska Athletic Director Tom Osborne said.
The expansion plan will increase Memorial Stadium's attendance to more than 90,000 by adding approximately 5,000 new seats.
Osborne: Expansion Will Create New Revenue
"We believe that the East Stadium project will allow us to remain competitive as an athletic department and as a football team with the revenue generated by the new suites, club seats and general public seating," Osborne said. "We needed to find ways to generate additional revenue for athletics as well as for the University at large, and we see a great opportunity to do that with the East Stadium expansion and with our partnership with UNL Research. We believe that the expansion will meet our fans' demands and still preserve the sellout streak."
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has experienced stellar growth in research funding during the past decade, largely due to an increase in interdisciplinary research involving faculty from multiple departments and colleges.
Prem S. Paul, vice chancellor for research and economic development, said a new research center is envisioned that will use cutting-edge imaging technologies to better understand foundations of behavior that contribute to health, injury and disease.
Participating UNL academic units could include the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Education and Human Sciences; the Departments of Psychology; Sociology; Political Science; Special Education and Communication Disorders; Anthropology; Mathematics; Biological Systems Engineering; Agricultural Economics; Economics; Management; Child, Youth and Family Studies; and the School of Biological Sciences. Details regarding the proposed research facility will be presented to the Board of Regents in the coming year.
UNL Facilities Management and Planning will issue two requests for proposals, one for architectural services and one for construction management services. An architect would be selected and brought to the board for approval in December, and construction could begin in November of 2011 and be complete by the fall of 2013.
Husker fans interested in joining the East Stadium Season Ticket Wait List are welcome to sign up online at Huskers.com. No deposit is required at this time.