The College Football Stadium Revolution

By Corey Elliot
Josh Holmberg-USA Today Sports Images

The race to be the biggest and the best goes beyond the football field. The Oregon Ducks set the standard with uniforms, the Texas Longhorns became the first team with their own television network and just about every school is renovating or rebuilding stadiums adding more seats and suites.

High-tech video screens also fall into this category.

The Illinois Fighting Illini and the Wisconsin Badgers are two of the latest schools to build the biggest and newest video screens.

The race for college football supremacy isn’t won in late January bowl games, apparently.

I have nothing against stadium renovations. In fact, I think that modernization of facilities built 70-plus years ago is a necessity. But modernization doesn’t mean overzealous, greed-driven additions to be the premiere college football facility.

Notre Dame is planning renovations to one of college football’s cornerstone stadiums. The university plans to add 3,000 revenue producing seats to the stadium.

Ah, yes, there it is. The “R” word has surfaced.

Revenue, revenue and more revenue is the name of the game. Not literally, but then again, who are we kidding? What has college football become? Over the past three years it has turned into a pseudo political race for office. Get the backing, get the funding and get whatever makes your school stick out like a sore thumb.

Case and point: UNLV’s new stadium plans. A video screen the length of the football field is on that blue print.

In 2007, the Indiana Hoosiers began their renovations to add seats to the north end of the stadium. No offense, but the Indiana Hoosiers? Memorial Stadium only sells out when Ohio State comes to Bloomington, but for some reason the school upped the capacity to 52,929.

That’s laughable.

As the time marches on it is becoming more and more evident that this amateur sport that produces millions of dollars for universities is a business and just like any other business, it’s a daily competition to stay on top of the game—no pun intended.

I like extravagant, but only when it’s necessary. If Alabama or LSU want to add amusement parks to their tailgating areas that would be fine by me, but mediocre schools trending for brand new stadiums is unnecessary and ill-advised.

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