Illinois announces $132 million Memorial Stadium renovation plan
Illinois is going all in.
After making one of the splashiest hires in school history to bring Lovie Smith on board, Illinois is making another big move.
The university announced that Memorial Stadium will undergo a $132 renovation project.
The renovation will include new state of the art training and recovery facilities, a sports medicine suite, recruiting spaces, locker rooms, new south end zone seating and renovated east stands. The south end zone will be given a new home for all football operations.
The project is expected to be completed by the summer of 2019.
“Following Coach Smith’s arrival, this project is the necessary next step to building a sustainable, championship-caliber football program,” Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman said in a statement. “This is an investment in our student-athletes, both present and future, to ensure that they have the resources needed to compete at the highest level. Such a commitment is required if we are to win consistently in the Big Ten and on the national stage.
“This is the first in a series of facility projects that will ultimately position all Illinois student-athletes for enduring success.”
The project is a continuation of the Illinois Renaissance, which began in 2005.
“This project is an important addition to our program as we continue to build,” Smith said in a statement. “Memorial Stadium is one of the historic and iconic stadiums in the nation, and this renovation will only enhance that reputation. The additions will give both our players and fans a greatly improved experience, from preparation during the week to the game-day atmosphere.”
The renovation will be funded by private gifts and the DIA’s general fund.