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Kenan Stadium expansion in motion

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Tags: ACC Now | UNC

CHAPEL HILL — Construction on an addition to Kenan Stadium at UNC may begin soon.

A committee of the university's board of trustees signed off Wednesday afternoon on a plan to pay for the $70 million project, and the full board will likely do so as well Thursday.

Once that happens, athletics officials are free to start the five-story addition that will close in the east end zone of the football stadium.

Construction would begin in June and officials expect the project to be complete by fall 2011.

The bottom two floors will be an academic support center for athletes. The top three floors will be premium seating, including 20 luxury suites.

Half of the project will be paid for through private fundraising. The university hopes to raise $35 million by 2015. This year, the fundraising project's first, the university surpassed its $10 million target by bringing in $10.3 million, athletics director Dick Baddour said Wednesday.

A new academic center for all Carolina athletes has proven popular among donors, Baddour said.

"I really think there's a lot of affection for the academic support center," he said. "That really resonates with people."

Fifteen of 20 suites have sold - at $50,000 each - while lower-priced luxury seating, which will also offer access to restrooms and other amenities, is selling at a slower pace.

Beer and wine will be available to occupants of those seats, a first for an athletic venue at UNC. Alcohol is not and will not be sold at regular concession stands.

For more on the stadium expansion, read Thursday's News & Observer.

— Eric Ferreri

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I say it's a good thing for expansion of the stadium to happen.

Sure, some will object to how private citizens choose to allot their money, but that will pass. What will be left is a more beuatiful, and louder stadium. Around 70,000 is right for UNC. With the increased interest in football I've seen take place in the last few years I think there's enough demand to fill it up. The luxury boxes are for the big whigs, and the premium seats are for those with more disposable income. There's enough of both groups at UNC to handle this. All the rest of us can fill up the aluminum bleechers and get loud for the Heels.....Come on Sep. 4....UNC will shock the world, and the Tigers.

re: Tigers/Heels

I love it. 1998 you are my kind of fan. The cool thing is the expansion of seats will only mean I can get my usual pick of premium ( or close enough) seats at game time for about 1/2 price. It s going to take a 10-2, 11-1 season or better for the next 2 years for there to be a squeeze on tickets. I hope that is the case. 

Where's igiilliig ?

Where's our little watchdog vs Big Time college sports - igillig ?

As long as these new facilities are financed by the "users" there should be no valid objections. There WILL BE of course, but its unfounded.

I know I'm in the tiny minority, but "getting to drink beer and wine at a ballgame" simply doesn't ring my bell. Now "free shrimp and chicken fingers" .... I could go for that!

Don't forget my man

Don't forget my man Greedbuster. Pinky and the Brain conspiracy ace and ABCer extrodinaire. 

I am with you on the ban of alcohol served at the game. I gotta feeling it won't happen.

 

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About the blogger

Robbi Pickeral has covered ACC sports for The News & Observer since 2003. She can be reached at robbi.pickeral@newsobserver.com.
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