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Kenan Phase I to be approved today

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Tags: ACC Now | UNC

CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina's Board of Trustees is scheduled to approve the design for the first phase of the Kenan Stadium expansion this afternoon.

The plan will add two floors to the Kenan Football Center complex on the west end of the field — one floor of offices and one of luxury suites.

Officials plan to start the first phase at the end of this football season and finish it before the 2009 season begins.

The other phases of the project — which won’t receive trustees approval until later — will close the bowl at the east end, and build an academic support center for athletes.

In its recent session the legislature approved the $50 million in debt needed for the project.

Private donations and income from the luxury suites will go to pay it off.

Carolina’s had tentative plans to renovate Kenan for years, but talk heated up after it picked Butch Davis to head the football program. He’s already been using expansion plans as a recruiting tool.

UNC completed a $50 million renovation to Kenan Stadium in 1997. The stadium holds 60,000.

— Samuel Spies


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I don't understand the position some of you take by not wanting this done (other than the cat who doesn't want ANY support given to the sports program). For you who think it takes away from the "tradition." What tradition? UNC football has been handcuffed with mediocre to poor football for over 40 yrs...with a few peaks along the way. If you think by not adding jumbotrons, keeping that hiddious, mexican-style fieldhouse, and not increasing the amount of seats is going to make us "Notre Dame like," you are CRAZY. What Rick was saying is we need that kind of buzz around the stadium on gameday. But we don't have the tradition of ND, so it has to be manufactured somewhat. And if you read the article again, it said it would be paid for by donations and the money that comes in from the luxury suites. I agree that you have to keep the beauty of the stadium in mind. But, both Butch and D Baddour, have said that they will out of the way to keep the pines and Bell Tower visible, if possible. This is change. And change is always met with some degree of pessimism. But after it's done, it will not be as big of a deal as most make it.

Kenan Staduim

I am probably the only Tar Heel who still has a Rams Club membership AND season football tickets who has a son playing for NC State.   I love my son and I am at Carter Finley Stadium every Saturday to watch his game, but I still love my Heels.  Kenan is the prettiest football complex of any that I have seen (and I have been to quite a few following State for the last four years). Sure, they may have all the bells and whistles, but true beauty...NO! There has been nothing to compare to hearing the bell ring in the Bell Tower, or watching the cheerleaders ring the Victory Bell. Carolina is full of tradition and I guess only a true Tar Heel can understand all the emotions that surround our traditions. Coaches come and go and they only have loyality to a University for as long as their contract. Let's hope that any "up-dates" to Kenan will consider the asthetics surrounding the stadium.

Kenan Expansion

Bunch of whiners. I don't recall the NC State legislature ponying up the money to get anything started on Carter-Finley Stadium. Spare the over stressed taxpayers the money and put your money where your mouth is.

UNC - Notre Dame

patmcgro ..... I was at that game in South Bend and I know Steiny well. ND is VERY VERY special and impossible to duplicate. .....

Steiny's intentions are honorable BUT he does tend to give way too much credence to the numbnutz on "fan boards". That bunch of "Wal-Mart fans" will not be paying for the new horns & whistles but will forever whine and complain regardless. ......

Let Holden Thorp know how you feel. Holden is open-minded so far.


It seems that the tradition of Carolina snobbery still exists, in only in the mouths of a few old dinosaurs.  Well, back to my bridge game and make up.

Football is where the big money is now

To make UNC as big of a football power as hoops It does'nt take a genius to figure out you HAVE to HAVE bigger stadiums to get the blue chip players it takes to make a BCS contender every year folks. just look at the SEC ,BIG 10 ,their stadiums average 80,000 to be my guess and wow! they have the means to fund better programs in all areas of there schools because football is the cash cow.2nd only to the NFL in tv ratings (excluding NASCAR) this is just a way to get on even terms of recruiting and better exposure to get to the top of college fooball not "keeping up with the jones" UNC should have done this 10yrs ago. hoops is not the only sport UNC can be the best in because these days you HAVE to be good at football to get to the top of the mountain. I am tired of seeing Mack Brown holding a BCS title .when he left UNC these were one of the reasons and it still took nearly 10yrs and a downtroddin program for UNC to wake up...If you ask by far most of real UNC fans this is been long coming and when coach Davis puts UNC back to where we belong .that crystal trophy will give you doubters a case of "told you so" now quit crying your pathetic

Another step backward

Before the UNC-Notre Dame game in South Bend in 2006, assistant athletic director (and head football cheerleader) Rick Steinbacher told a group of UNC alums that he wanted to make a UNC football weekend just as special as the one they were witnessing at Notre Dame. He cited the history, the atmosphere, the spirit.

Meanwhile, UNC does everything it can to not be like Notre Dame. JumboTron? Check. Luxury suites? Check. Piped in music? Check. Hokey pre-game festivities? Check.

In order to have tradition, you need to have core values that you stand by. Tradition is not adding on bells and whistles every few years because "everybody else does it" to impress a bunch of 18 year olds. It's honoring your past (and your present) by being proud of what you have stood for throughout the years and being strong enough to keep it up.

Steinbacher's words about wanting to be like Notre Dame ring hollow. It appears that UNC is a lot more interested in creating an atmosphere akin to Arena Football than classic college football.

I pitch in, and I'm NO big cat.

I come early, cheer often, and stay until the end. I also belong to the Ram's Club, and donate a little extra for projects. It won't be much, but not much from a whole lot of people adds up. As for the "travesty" of it...UNC doesn't even look the same as it did when I graduated in 1998. The one certainty in life is change. If Davis stays or goes, that's just that. Why don't we all just enjoy the product on the field. My seats are there, and I'll just be there cheering the Heels to victory.

This is a travesty, and, in the eyes of those who love Carolina,

Such a travesty, but one of many, since UNC's present leaders determined to abandon the grace and dignity of this unique stadium to jumbotrons, advertising, and free hot meals for the Big Rams in their Northern potico.

With this expansion, Kenan's ruin will be complete.

So better players (though submarginal students) may be lured here to take the seats that might have been occupied by NC high schoolers with perfect records and 3.5 averages; and

So Mr. Davis may shape the program in the image of Florida State, or Clemson, or some other First Class Football School.

Under present administrations, there will be no end to this madness.

Trustees, where is your sense of propriety, or your appreciation of all that has made Carolina different from all the rest?

Legislators, where is your oversight?

Kind of sad and pathetic

So I guess it's time to say goodbye to the beautiful old mission-style fieldhouse. Even though it's not used for that purpose anymore it was sort of the last remaining accent from what used to be a lovely place to watch football. Now just another jumbotron-ed, concrete monstrosity amongst a sea of such monstrosities (ie, at every other football factory in the land). Go Heels.

How much ....

How much of that $150,000,000 will come from the loonies on the "message boards". I understand "they" are "the real fans" ??? ..... or will it be left up to "the fat cats" that arrive late and don't cheer enough ??? ..... and will Butch still be around when it's finished? ..... sooo many questions yet to be answered.

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About the blogger

Robbi Pickeral has covered ACC sports for The News & Observer since 2003. She can be reached at