Camp Randall Stadium could see major changes as early as next season when a $99.8 million renovation begins, UW-Madison officials told the Madison Plan Commission Monday.
UW-Madison Associate Athletics Director Alan Fish and lead architect Bill Doyle presented the plans and addressed questions and concerns of commission members.
The project will add 8,000 seats in 22 rows on the north side of the stadium as well as suites and club suites on the east side, making its total capacity close to 85,000.
Fish said because of the high demand for student seats in the past, it is possible that some of these seats will be added to the student section.
A new Athletics Department office building also will be built, but the rest of the changes in Camp Randall will be improvements on existing facilities.
'The project's cost is divided equally in new costs and renovation,' Doyle said.
The renovations include rebuilding the entire south end zone, adding elevators to make it more handicap accessible, more concession stands and more restrooms. There will be three times as many women's restrooms in the renovated stadium.
The gates into the stadium will also be pushed out, and people will be able to hand in their tickets as far back as Breese Terrace.
According to Fish, one of the major concerns of the project is that pushing back the gates will decrease pedestrian space. But plans are already in progress to make sure this does not happen by eliminating Little Street.
'We can really make this an attractive pedestrian area,' he said.
The other main concern is in regard to parking. Fish said that of the 10,000 campus parking spaces that are free on game days, about 2,000 are usually vacant. He said one solution to an increased need for parking brought about by additional seats is to improve marketing of these spots. In addition, there will have to be an increase in public transportation.
Fish said besides these concerns, public opposition to the project has been limited.
'Overall I would say the renovation project is highly supported,' he said.
The project will be divided into three phases over a three-year period, with a complete utility reconstruction running from February 2002 until the beginning of next year's football season.
For students living around Camp Randall, Fish said this is the only phase in which they will be able to see construction taking place, because the other phases are on the sides facing campus.
The formal project proposal will be presented in about two months.