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With the Big House already being the biggest stadium in the country, I was curious if people still want it to continue getting bigger, or if they're fine with the current size. For example, if it could be safely done and would still look basically the same structurally, would you be in favor of another 15,000 seats being added? 20,000? Is there a point where you'd draw the line?
Frankly, I wouldn't draw the line anywhere. The Big House is a cultural icon, and our status as the biggest college football stadium in America is a huge selling point to recruits and a huge point of pride for the university. As long as the seats can be added safely (which they can, the structural supports are already embedded in the ground for up to ~150,000 total seats) then I see no reason not to continue to expand.
The only caveat is that I wouldn't want to expand if attendance started dropping, for some reason. A 110,000-person stadium looks amazing filled, but horrible empty. Of course, given that Hoke has us on the right track, I don't anticipate any problems with that.
I believe the 150,000 capacity thing is just a myth. The supports may have been there at one time but i think i remember reading they were torn out during one of the renovations.
They would have to add supports for new seating....the current stadium is already supported, so the expansion outward/upward would need new supports. Also, I talked to a guy at work this weekend who worked for a company that did the renovations to the bowl a few years back...and he said that the foundation was in terrible shape under the seating sections...if anything, the stadium is more structurally sound then if has ever been.
I agree, you increase seating gradually over time to adequately keep the demand on pace with population growth. When the stadium was build 80 years ago, they didnt put 110,000 seats in, but today the fan base and demand can fill that and probably more. We will probably see a solid 10,000+ seat expansion within this decade (take a look at picture rendering). Buy the end of this century, the capacity could very well be near 150,000. Who knows, in 100 years from now they might decide they need to drastically increase seating capacity, thus they might even knock down the suites and club areas on each sideline to expand the bowl to create those 150,000 seats, and then add new suites/club areas above the new seating areas....money can easily make that a reality
Honestly, I think it's a bad idea. I have been saying for a while that there's a breaking point for fans, no matter how loyal they appear to be. It's already a traffic nightmare getting in and out of the stadium. Now add another 15-25% if you expand. Also, the price of tickets is already pretty expensive (mine average out to about $125 per ticket/per game when you factor in PSD). A pair of club level seats is $10,000 a year. And a hot dog is $4.50. If the stadium expanded to say, 125,000 capacity, the price of tickets is definitely going up. We already see the top rows of the student section empty, and there's pockets of empty seats throughout the stadium for non-marquis games. If we add on another 12,500+ seats, I honestly believe it will push some fans over the edge.
At what point is enough enough?
I think you will see Brandon push to add a deck on the south end to fill the gap between the luxury suites, provided ticket demand is there. It will probably boost capacity to 120,000 or so.
This post was edited by MrWoodson 17 months ago
I've unfortunately never been to the Big House, but has there been any talk of some type of renovation to keep the sound in, if no expansion for extra seating? I know prior to this last renovation one of the negatives was the volume wouldn't bounce around, just go straight up and out. While the new structures are angled in a way the sound projects back onto the field, could this be done at both endzone sections? Hell, I don't know, maybe like a Ring of Fame or something. One big advantage of playing at home with stadium structure is to create that true home field advantage. Of course not ever being there live, I don't truly know what it sounds like prior to renovation, let alone now. YouTube and videos only do so much, the live version would be much better!
I don't care how big our stadium gets but I would like to see us make some improvements in the structure to make it louder inside the stadium.
"Those Who Stay...Will be Champions"
Retractable roof, JerryWorld style.
just build a really tall brick wall all the way around the stadium and keep all the sound in....it would be an absolute zoo in there
They could just put a cover over the seating areas the way they do soccer stadiums. That would keep in a ton of sound.
JerryWorld is garbage absolutly no home field advantage.
Place hidden microphones in the stadium and then blast the crowd noise thru an ungodly amount of amplifiers place on top of stadium; pointing straight down into the field.
The price of tickets will always be going up regardless, I don't know how adding more supply would cause the tickets to go up even more...
I like this idea
and agree with the general sentiment above: as long as you can fill it, keep making it bigger. Keep those at UT/etc from getting ideas again.
Could you imagine the "get off my lawn" hearing about that idea? I like it, the only thing that is keeping this stadium from the being the toughest to play in, in the nation. Is volume level, something has to be done to make it much louder.
I like this idea.
Agree 100%. Yes you'll fill it up for the ND, osu, and msu games. But what about EMU? What about Akron? What about Minnesota...that place will look deserted during those games.
I actually think the Big House is considerably louder since the renovation. I seem to remember the sideline reporter saying that the Northwestern O-Linemen were complaining to Fitzgerald early in the game that they couldn't hear the calls...and that was before it even got truly loud late in the game. There's been other examples of this as well (Clausen complaining to Weis in 2009 that he couldn't communicate the plays.)
Brandon wants to add seating to both endzones, the gap in between the luxury suites. He wants to make the new seating sections as high as the current scoreboards.
You could have less tickets for the MAC level opponents by putting tarps over certain sections (like they do at USC or other large stadiums) to maintain a full crowd, or if tickets sales dont meet a certain amount. These extra seats would have demand for the bigger games, and thus the sections would be available for occupancy.
They need to do something to fix the student section. Last Saturday was a bit of a joke. Also need to do something to get the blue hairs cheering like they do in Lincoln. Fix those 2 and you have the answer to the question.
As long as you can sell the tix to put butts in those seats then why not keep expanding. More seats = more $$$ and that's what it is all about at the end of the day.
I'm happy with it where it is right now as long as it's still largest in the country. Te Big House should always be #1 in attendance imo.
it definetly is better, when 110,000+ get going in there it is VERY loud in the stadium. Last year was the first I went to the stadium so I'm not sure if the boxes have made a big difference but all the sound does not just go up out of the stadium like announcers always used to say. At the 4 games I've been to the opposing offenses have had alot of trouble communicating especially on 3rd down.
This post was edited by Hoke Express 17 months ago
Not just tarps... Why not have something different? Instead of a plain flat tarp, why not have something like those "wavy" adversisements that blow air through them? Put little people sized those things and blow the air throw so it looks like it's still a full house i those sections. Have some maize, blue, grey, white "shirts" placed through out it so it's not just one solid color.
It would be cool if we could sell out a 150k or 200k stadium but at the same time, people won't like seeing the empty seats or a tarp covering certain sections. There'll be a big out cry if this happens and then you'd almost certainly see ticket prices starting to come down just to fill the seats. Having the "limited" capcity now, keeps tickets in demand, and people continually on a waiting list that continuous donate $$ to attempt to get the available tickets. I'd be interested to see how much the AD is getting from those people. And are we really "selling out" a game for a MAC school when you're forced to buy that ticket just to get a single "premium game" ticket?
It'd be hard to justify expanding without greatly improving the OOC schedule to fill those seats, 1 MAC would be ok, but not 2. You'd have to bring in at worst, mid-level BCS schools.
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