Over the weekend, Fresno State athletic director Jim Bartko (who has been on the job for about six months) unveiled a new vision for Bulldog Stadium that will take the 35-year old stadium from old and inefficient for fans, to somewhere that fans want to spend their Saturday's in the fall.
The renovation plan has been divided into four phases and includes a branding of a "Bulldog District" around the stadium with access to special fan amenities and a pregame festival area, renovation of the seating bowl to create more efficent access to the seats, concessions, and restrooms, the addition of suites, a stadium club, and new press box on the West side of the stadium.
Also among the plans are a new football operations building in the South end zone, which will include a new locker room, and coaches offices with the scoreboard being housed on top of the building.
The total cost as the project sits right now, according to the Fresno Bee, is around $80 million. and while that seems like a large number for a renovation, Bartko is sold on its importance for athletics and the university as a whole.
“For us to move forward in this conference, look around, the whole conference is doing it,” Bartko said. “Colorado State is doing it, Utah State is doing it, Nevada. UNLV is looking at it. Wyoming has done it. Boise did it. Air Force is doing it." Bartko told the Bee.
“We have to look at it. It’s going to happen, whether it’s a year from now, five years, because Bulldog Stadium can’t continue the way it is now with the conditions of some areas and the fan experience. In 20 years, it won’t be functional from concessions and restrooms, just the concrete in the walkways and the rails, seating. We need to do it fiscally responsible and make it right revenue-wise, so we can compete for championships.”
The target date for completion of the renovations is 2019. Read a more thorough breakdown of the project here, via the Fresno Bee.