Fresh off the heels of the school's first two bowl victories, Louisiana - Lafayette is sinking a major investment into its football program. After announcing a $115 million athletic facilities master plan in March, the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors approved the Ragin' Cajuns' plans on Tuesday.
While the project will benefit the entire Louisiana - Lafayette athletic department, the football facilities improvement will be included in the first tier of the project:
- A $5.17 million improvement to 33-year-old Cajun Field, adding 5,900 seats and amenities to the south end (bringing capacity up to 36,900).
- The construction of a 67,000-square foot, $13.84 million football building that will house coaches' offices and a strength and conditioning center.
- An 8,000-square foot visitor locker room facility.
The ultimate plan is to pour half the project's finances, $57.53 million to be exact, to bring Cajun Field's capacity up to 50,000, but the athletic department has to put the project out to bid and conduct the financing first. The school plans to have the first tier completed by the 2014 season.
“That’s what we’re trying our best to (do) – get shovels in the ground in August,” athletic director Scott Farmer told the Lafayette Advertiser. “That’s an aggressive timeline, and we know that, but that’s what we’re working toward. “Hopefully things will fall into place.”
Cajun Field is already the Sun Belt's largest on-campus stadium at 31,000 seats.