UD announces $60 million renovation project for Delaware Stadium

Chrissi Rawak

NEWARK — There’s been talk of fixing up Delaware Stadium for years.

There’s even been architect drawings of a refurbished stadium before.

But as she sat there announcing the University of Delaware’s athletics’ fundraising campaign on Saturday, athletic director Chrissi Rawak said she had no doubt that this particular project will come to fruition.

“None,” said Rawak. “There’s no doubt in my mind. We’re 80 perecent to goal. You can feel it.”

The university’s announcement this week, that it is embarking on a $750 million general fundraising campaign, includes a $60 million campaign just for athletics.

UD is planning to build a student-athlete center just behind the west stands of Delaware Stadium. The plans call for the west stands to be torn down and replaced with a new home section that will be topped by a new pressbox and stadium club that will run most of the length of the stands.

The home stands will have chairback seats and upgraded concessions. The stadium’s current 22,000 seating capacity isn’t expected to change greatly.

The student-athlete center will include various training facilities, physical therapy facilities and x-ray machines.

The current plans call for the stadium renovation to be completed by 2019 and the training facility by 2020.

The university has already allocated $25 million, with $23 million being raised already from private sources.

Delaware announced the project at halftime of the Blue Hens’ football game with Albany on Saturday.

“This is the third time we’ve tried this particular project here at Delaware,” said Rawak, who is in her second year at UD. “So there was a bit of skepticism in this system, if you will. And that’s OK.

“I like challenges. I’m not afraid to stand up to that — particularly because of how much I believe in what this project means to our student-athletes and our community. We’re going to be relentless in this as we’ve been relentless in everything that we’ve forged ahead to do here.”

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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