What might Phase 2 of the Ross-Ade Stadium project feature?
“We don’t lack opportunities and ideas,” Purdue athletic director Mike Bobinski told GoldandBlack.com.
What are some of the ideas?
• Renovation of the north end zone area.
• The addition of an upper deck on the east side.
• Modernizing the pavilion and premium seating areas.
• Expanding the concourse.
“Lots of things are under consideration,” Bobinski said.
Each concept could materialize, or the athletic department may have to zero in on specific areas. Phase 1 of the renovation project isn’t finished yet, but discussions continue about what’s next.
“It’s making sure whatever we decide to do that we have the capacity to be successful in achieving it from a dollar perspective and a construction feasibility perspective,” Bobinski said.
The financial part is the key. How much money can the athletic department raise to keep the stadium updated and continue to enhance the fan experience?
“It will take a significant fundraising effort to prepare for that,” Bobinski said. “We’re working with architects and others right now to identify the absolute right elements to include in that phase and what our fundraising capacity will be. That’s part of the equation. We have to raise the funds necessary to do whatever we believe are the right elements, but there’s certainly more to come.”
“Our model is we’ve got to raise every dollar we’re going to commit to this. There are no other funds arriving here to do this and when you see people that are announcing multi-hundreds of millions of dollar renovations, it’s not the same model we operate under. They’re getting support from the state, the institution and who knows where to do these things, but that’s not how we do it.”
The new student-athlete nutrition/dining facility is scheduled to open in July 2024, completing Phase 1 of the project. The 150-person capacity nutrition center will feature a full production kitchen along with indoor and outdoor seating.
The next phase of Ross-Ade Stadium and the addition of the Pete Dye Clubhouse at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex, thanks to a $20 million gift from former Purdue golfer Sam Allen and his wife, Marsha, are the major construction projects upcoming.
“Those are the big ones,” Bobinski said. “The big stuff has been accomplished at this point. A lot of our other sports, from a big-picture perspective, have all the major elements. Are there things on the margin we’re going to do? Yes, but they’re not overly significant from a cost perspective. Ross-Ade continues to be the big one that looms ahead.”
PHASE 1 FEEDBACK
The $45.4 million facelift with Phase 1 featured the Tiller Tunnel, moving the Tyler Trent Student Section and the All-American Marching band to the renovated south end zone area. Purdue has played five of its seven home games, and Bobinski said there’s been a positive response to the additions.
“The opponents that have come in and seen our place before, we’ve gotten very positive reviews, ‘Wow, this really changes the feel of the place and the vibe of the place,’ ” Bobinski said. “I’ve spoken to a number of students who have enjoyed the view position from that south end zone – it’s got a pretty steep angle and you feel you’re right over that end zone. It’s a great place to watch a game.
“The premium space in the southwest corner has been well-received by the fans who’ve had a chance to be up in that patio area and have really given us rave reviews.”
The four scoreboards at court level, a new scorer’s bench, sound system and lighting are among the upgrades inside Mackey Arena for the upcoming season.
“The technology will be completely updated and modernized,” Bobinski said. “I believe we’ve taken what was already a tremendous environment in Mackey from a player and fan perspective and helped make it even better.”