Nebraska takes step to creating Memorial Stadium of future

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — With Memorial Stadium on the cusp of its one centesimal anniversary, the Nebraska athletic division on Thursday set the stage for an enormous renovation that can make the venue extra fan pleasant for many years to return.

University leaders additionally introduced a brand new multimedia rights deal that may carry in additional than $300 million over 15 years and mentioned that alcohol can be offered at males’s and girls’s basketball video games at Pinnacle Bank Arena beginning this season.

The athletic division should get approval from the college Board of Regents, who’re anticipated to approve the plans. The subsequent board assembly is Sept. 30.

Nebraska is scheduled to open a $160 million soccer facility subsequent yr, and the Big Ten’s billion-dollar-a-year media rights deal introduced this summer time will carry unprecedented windfalls to league members.

The bulletins got here lower than two weeks after Nebraska started its seek for a brand new soccer coach following the firing of Scott Frost. Athletic director Trev Alberts mentioned discussions about stadium upgrades and the rights deal have been occurring for months and that the timing is coincidental.

“I’m not naive to perhaps the benefit of potential candidates saying, wow, in spite of some of our challenges in terms of wins and losses on the field, there’s a lot of momentum happening at the University of Nebraska,” Alberts mentioned. “If that’s an unintended benefit, we’ll take it.”

The Cornhuskers have performed in Memorial Stadium since 1923 and incremental enhancements have been made over time, together with luxurious suites in 1999 and an growth to greater than 85,000 seats in 2013.

A redevelopment of the south finish zone space, concession areas and concourses in addition to enhancements in digital infrastructure are probably, Alberts mentioned. He had no value estimate or timetable for the mission.

The athletic division obtained about 22,000 responses to a survey on what facilities followers would really like as a way to enhance the stadium expertise, Alberts mentioned, and that suggestions can be used within the decision-making course of.

Alberts famous the soccer group continues to get robust fan assist despite the fact that it has not had a successful season since 2016. The college has an NCAA-record 385-game sellout streak that started in 1962.

“We stick together through all kinds of weather,” Alberts mentioned, quoting the varsity combat track. “I think the fans have stuck with us through some pretty nasty storms. I think it’s time for us to do our part.”

The athletic division’s multimedia rights settlement with Playfly Sports would take impact Oct. 1. The deal ensures $301 million over 15 years, or about $18.2 million yearly. Playfly presently holds the multimedia rights for Southern California, LSU and Virginia, amongst different colleges.

As a part of the package deal, Alberts mentioned, Playfly would contribute $1 million to call, picture and likeness packages every of the primary two years and extra undetermined quantities in following years.

Alcohol can be offered solely at Pinnacle Bank Arena as a part of a two-year pilot program. Nebraska would obtain 10% of the web revenue, which Alberts mentioned would quantity to about $100,000 this basketball season.

There can be no alcohol gross sales at Memorial Stadium as a result of the power is just not correctly outfitted for that, Alberts mentioned. Neither will there be gross sales on the Haymarket Park baseball stadium for now due to present agreements between the college, metropolis of Lincoln and the Lincoln Saltdogs unbiased league group.

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