clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Arizona Stadium's west side could be rebuilt in 4-6 years

New, 2 comments

The improvements to Arizona Stadium are going to keep coming.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

As the Arizona Wildcats look to keep up with the rest of the college football world, most of Arizona Stadium will need to have something done to it.

These changes have the potential to be drastic in the near future.

"What I hope long term is that we're looking at a whole new west side of the stadium," Greg Byrne said on Monday. "And we're potentially looking at a brand new or renovated south side."

"When you've got parts of the stadium that are close to a hundred years old, you have to address it," Byrne added. "We've been really aggressive on the facility front, and that's not going to change."

It's not debatable that a majority of Arizona Stadium is not up to par with today's standards. It also lacks what fans are interested in when deciding between actually ponying up the money to attend a game versus watching it at home on their high-def TVs in their man caves.

Keeping affordable ticket areas is why you'll notice the east side is not part of this conversation.

"I'm proud of the fact that we have the lowest entry level season ticket prices in the Pac-12," Byrne said of the upper level on the east side. "I want that to continue."

The east side will see chairback seating in 2016 in the 100 level, comparable to that seen in the north endzone and the bottom of the south endzone right now. This will reduce the stadium's capacity by about 600, but will ensure more tickets sold.

The long-term vision is to have the entire stadium have chairbacks minus the east side upper deck and the ZonaZoo area.

Let's get back to the west side though. Arizona's dream is to have a completely rebuilt west side of Arizona Stadium. And in the grand scheme of things, they want it to happen soon.

"I hope we have something definite as far as planning in the next two years," Byrne said. "We're probably four to six years before we can get a shovel in the ground and get going, but it'll be a long process to plan it."

"I'm trying to give my self space there, but I hope it's soon," Arizona's athletic director continued about his timetable. "We're trying to be aggressive with the timing."

When looking at the west side and completely redoing it, the process will be less complicated and convoluted then the average person may think.

"The nice thing about the west side is that there's a ton of space underneath to do a lot of things from a fan amenity standpoint," continued Byrne. "We've already had some real high-level discussions with architects to talk about some ideas for that that I think can be really good."

The year that the rebuild happens also depends on what Arizona's home schedule looks like in future years.

"For instance, we're looking at what year is the best to do it," said Byrne. "Well, what year do we play on the road against ASU? And could it be the week before we ask the Pac-12 to put us on the road as well so you get two more weeks in construction time, and then maybe to start the next season, the first game or two would be on the road as well."

"Now, that gives you an extra month of construction, and if you have ten months of construction, that gives you a lot of time to get stuff done."

But there is another option.

"Or do we do it in phases where one year we do the west side, and one year we do the south, time will tell, but we're already having those early discussions."

Either way, it seems like Arizona fans will be seeing a huge improvement to Arizona Stadium sooner rather than later, and it's really coming.

"The ball is rolling, and we're moving on it, but I hope it can be in a shorter time frame than what we're talking about there."

"Hopefully under-promise and over-deliver."

Byrne also added that him and Rich Rodriguez are working on getting an indoor practice facility to Tucson as well, among a ton of other facility upgrades Arizona Athletics as a whole needs.

"You know the old saying 'How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time'. So we've been taking a lot of bites already, but we've still got some more to get after it."

Building an entirely new west side of the stadium in one offseason is certainly a huge bite. Soon enough, the entire football elephant will be chewed up, digested, and sent down the toilet, and it'll be time to do it all over again.