Vanderbilt is planning some exciting new additions and renovations at the stadium after the spring Black and Gold scrimmage next Saturday.
One of the additions will be a large hill, or "berm", at the open end of the stadium outfitted with a large JumboTron. The hill was inspired by Wake Forest's "Deacon Hill". Vice Chancellor of Athletics David Williams said he wouldn't call it a hill, "...but it certainly won’t look like it’s looking now”.
Williams, further explaining the difference between the two, said "Ours is on the line of, but not to the same effect, as Wake’s. Wake’s is a natural hill. Ours is something we’re creating. With Wake’s, I think you enter from the top. Ours won’t be like that. I don’t think there’s any place that has it like this because ours is not going to be that huge.” The new hill will sport the grass from the playing field when the field switches to FieldTurf and improved lighting will also be added to the stadium as part of the renovations.
Steve Walsh, Vandy's director of sales and marketing points out that their goal is to make it a more family friendly environment. “We want to appeal to fans with young kids, where their kids can run around and they can still watch the game and keep an eye on the kids. We want to make it more of a ‘blanket in the park’ thing.” Blankets will be allowed in the area, but coolers and lounge chairs will not.
James Franklin is a fan of the change, partly due to the fact that it's not a permanent fixture.
“There have been discussions of building a football complex there, there have been discussions of closing the stadium in (with permanent seating). But until we prove we have a demand for those things, it’s hard to justify. This is a way to do something inexpensive, relatively speaking, that isn’t permanent. It can be bulldozed if we decide.”