On Friday, the Clemson Board of Trustees approved the athletic department’s proposal of roughly $70 million dollars worth of renovations to be done in Death Valley. Phase one would cost around $1,040,000 and the total cost of all renovations is estimated $68,400,000. Phase one would begin construction in December 2020 with a completion date in August of 2021.
Early stadium renderings: That would be a massive scoreboard upgrade.— Riley Morningstar (@RBMorningstar) October 10, 2019
Want construction to begin in December 2020, completed in August 2021. pic.twitter.com/X9PZ2mDm2b
A much, much better look of proposed Lot 5 work: pic.twitter.com/S9h2PrTcKW— Riley Morningstar (@RBMorningstar) October 10, 2019
Other renderings: That would be a really neat way to pass by games outside the Hill. pic.twitter.com/UVxvWN5SQT— Riley Morningstar (@RBMorningstar) October 10, 2019
The addressed changes include adding premium seating and club spaces, better ADA accessibility, “fan experience upgrades,” parking lot enhancements, and modifications to the locker rooms. The ticket office will also relocate the visitors’ fan/band section, as Dan Radakovich noted that the current visitor section in the West Zone are some of the best seats in the house due to complete shading no matter the kickoff time. The fan experience upgrades include a bigger video board over the hill, new sound system, and LED lights. I would imagine the LED light system would look like what has been done at Alabama, Nebraska, and Georgia.
So Sanford Stadium is lit up tonight with only its new red LED lights and it’s one of the wildest things I’ve ever seen... pic.twitter.com/1MFDAfHTQv— Logan Booker (@LoganMBooker) September 7, 2019
Bryant Denny Stadium is bathed in blue light tonight in memory of fallen Tuscaloosa Police Officer Dornell Cousette… Photo from Skip Baumhower pic.twitter.com/0ac1Eb9DGa— James Spann (@spann) September 19, 2019
Alabama announced their lights first, and UGA a little after, so Bama fans have gone all “UGA is just copying the Tide, PAWWWL” about it. Probably what really happened was the regional rep for the LED light company went to Tuscaloosa before Athens, but I digress. The LED lights are able to change colors and turn off and on easily, creating a pretty cool effect for between quarters, pregame shows, etc. Similar to how many basketball teams dim the lights during pregame introductions. Dimming the lights/providing an orange glow for the fourth quarter video could look pretty nice during a big night game.
A bigger video board puts Clemson on the same page as other schools like Auburn and South Carolina. If you’ve taken in a game at Williams-Brice recently, you have to admit the big HD video board looks awesome. The new video board looks to accompany a larger opening in behind the hill.
One thing that is on everyone’s mind with this is capacity. Clemson currently does not have a goal of expanding Death Valley, but there is a possibility of the stadium growing to around 84,000 fans. There is, however, no plan on changing the student ticket allotment. Given that enrollment has ballooned to over 24,000 and continues to grow, you’d have to imagine student ticket allotment becomes a topic of discussion at some point, particularly given the great attendance and frustrations of the ticket system from students this season.
In all, these appear positive developments to keep Clemson on the same level as the competition. Radakovich did note that the athletic department has planned how ticket prices will go for the next four years, and while there was a price increase this season, for fans not to expect a major price increase to happen anytime soon. While the proposal has been approved, the current renderings are not final, so it will be interesting to see how the plans shape as the process continues