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UK unveils stadium plans





Commonwealth Stadium will have a smoother, rounder look that Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart ultimately hopes will create a more intimate spectator atmosphere and a big-time experience for Wildcat football players and recruits.

University officials on Monday unveiled the design for the $110 million renovation of the Wildcats’ stadium that adds a new facade around the 40-yearold structure, upper-level suites, a new game- day locker room and recruiting lounge atop a new tunnel.

Designed by Kansas Citybased HNTB and Rosstarrant Architects, lead planner Gerardo Prado said this week it carries out the school’s goal of being “classy” and “cool.”

Work is expected to begin in early 2014 with completion scheduled for 2015. Seating capacity will be reduced from its current 67,942 to about 61,000, but Barnhart envisions a more fan-friendly facility.

“We didn’t walk into this thinking we were going to get (the) Dallas Cowboys’ stadium,” Barnhart said after Monday’s news conference that included Gov. Steve Beshear, university President Eli Capilouto and first-year Wildcats coach Mark Stoops.

“We knew what we had to work with and the parameters to fund it. That was the case.”

Barnhart came away pleased with state-of-theart designs and amenities he believes will bring Commonwealth up to date with other Southeastern Conference facilities and beyond.



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