Georgia regents approve $68.5 million renovation to Sanford Stadium

Sanford Stadium in Athens is in line for a major renovation and expansion.

Credit: UGA Sports

Credit: UGA Sports

Sanford Stadium in Athens is in line for a major renovation and expansion.

The University of Georgia’s nearly century-old football stadium is getting a $68.5 million update.

The Georgia Board of Regents on Tuesday authorized the previously announced upgrades to Sanford Stadium. Private dollars and bond financing from the UGA Athletic Association will cover the cost.

“It’s an old facility, and we clearly have areas of the stadium that needed renovation and expansion,” UGA President Jere Morehead said in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The renovation will improve the game-day experience by widening the 100-level concourse, where Morehead said it’s often “really tight and very crowded.”

“Of all the things that we’re doing, I think our fans are going to appreciate dealing with that congestion the most,” he said.

That work is part of the first phase of construction, which officials said will start after the 2022 football season. Those plans also include a new connection to Sanford Drive at Gillis Bridge, creating a nearby plaza, upgrading restrooms and relocating and expanding accessible seating for those with disabilities and their companions.

The second phase of construction, to start after the 2023 football season, will add a vertical expansion to the stadium’s southwest corner. It will feature a new press box, six premium suites with 125 new seats, more restrooms and an elevator. The existing press box will be converted to “premium club space” with an estimated 270 new seats.

Sandra Neuse, the University System of Georgia’s vice chancellor for real estate and facilities, told the board that construction is scheduled to occur in two phases to minimize disruptions to the football team.

The regents also approved the construction of a new UGA tennis facility to replace the existing building constructed in 1979 and renovated nearly two decades ago. The $26.7 million cost also will be covered by the athletic association.