University of south Alabama athletic Director Joel Erdmann to walk us through the ultimate DIY project: Hancock Whitney Stadium. Below is his step-by-step overview on how to develop your very own football field.

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Photo through Scott Donaldson

Step 1: start with a Budget

It’s going to take about $75 million to $80 million to develop your 25,500-capacity stadium, and also to secure those kinds of funds, you’ll have to rally neighborhood support. “We had to really talk to people around what the value of this facility to be going to be,” states Erdmann of their fundraising pitch. “Not just for the sports of football, and not just for athletics, however for the continued advance of this campus, which for the past 20 years has to be staggering. A lot of civilization put your arms about it and also saw it as a worthy, justifiable thing to support. Even if it is it’s a moderate-size gift or a gift the multimillion dollars, they every matter, they all count.” It also helps to have actually the backing of someone like regional businessman/philanthropist Abe Mitchell, for whom the ar is named.

Step 2: attract it Up

Erdmann and his team visited about 10 stadiums and also spoke to everyone involved in their constructions. They took the components from each and also inserted them right into their vision for the stadium. “We continually focused on the endure of the student-athletes and the experience of the fans. At that time the became really clear that stadiums space no longer simply elevated seating where civilization come come games and sit. A growing variety of fans favor to be social in nature. Stadiums nationally were shrinking in capacity and growing in areas of socialization and also hospitality. And so that was a suggest of emphasis right the end of the box,” Erdmann says. “Within the stadium, there are seven distinct locations that room designed for world that want to be approximately other people and also hang out and have fun.”

You’re also going to require some an are — a couple of acres simply for the stadium. Also, setup for around 1,800 surrounding to the field, with an additional 6,000 in ~ shuttling distance. As soon as determining how to situate the field, you’ll want to make sure it runs north/south. Placed the home team ~ above the eastern sideline for this reason the sunlight will be at their backs (and because of this in the visiting players’ faces). 

Erdmann suggests two areas where you carry out not want to scrimp: video clip and audio technology, and catering and also concessions. The scoreboard is roughly 100 feet broad by 38 feet high, and also the HD quality is as an excellent as any type of NFL stadium. The whole sound, video and support structure package will price you around $5 million, however it will certainly be worth it. “We knew we essential a ‘wow’ element with the video board. That’s what pan expect,” Erdmann says.


The kitchen needs to be able to serve the club, the suites, the press row and all the concessions about the stadium. It’ll run you an additional $1 million, but you’ll certainly recoup your investment after a few post-COVID games. 

Step 3: heat up your Crew

“We’re really fortunate come have very sophisticated and robust facilities department under the umbrella that the university. Randy Moon (Associate VP, framework Management) and his crew really built this place. Randy’s the man,” Erdmann says. “They coordinated all the bids for the miscellaneous buildings and all the contents of the stadium. So us didn’t need to pay a builder. Us were additionally able come sharpen the pencil. Us have great renovation crews that can do all the drywall, electrical, etc. Our guys developed all the restrooms and concession stands. We simply racked up savings through our internal professional workers, and that’s really what acquired us here.”

When you variable in that USA crews manage all the landscaping and also a many the parking lots, Erdmann approximates that, in total, they to be able to acquire a stadium the would generally cost roughly $120 million to $125 million because that a little under $80 million.

Step 4: start Digging

After some reshuffling that the intramural fields, the first shovel went in the ground in august of 2018. You’ll want to go with a synthetic rubber turf — it might be a tiny hotter, but the absence of maintenance is worth the around $400,000 price tag. You can even paint it with various logos in instance you want to organize other events like the an elderly Bowl.

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The lower seating is ~ above a concrete basic — an extremely sturdy, an extremely durable. It have to be an excellent for one more 150 years. The remaining seating is on elevated steel. The stadion was developed with one eye towards the future.

“One of the things we worked hard in ~ was, it s okay it’s walk to be 2020, however what space we going to require in 2030, ‘40 and ’50? We want to make sure we were structure in a method that would enable us to increase without having actually to blow a bunch of stuff up,” Erdmann says. “The press tower is designed and built to it is in expanded. To boost the capacity, there’s a the majority of room in the concourse, where an top deck have the right to be added. Therefore we deserve to go come a capacity of 30,000 or 40,000 without having actually to tear the ar up. All we’d need to do is move the light poles which, in the great scheme that things, is an extremely minimal.”

It will take you about two years, however eventually you will do it be prepared to host your an extremely own university football game.