It’s full steam ahead on phase one of the Ross-Ade Stadium renovation project.
The Purdue Board of Trustees approved an estimated $45.4 million project at a meeting in Stewart Center on Friday. It’s phase one of a hoped-for multi-phase approach to improve Ross-Ade Stadium, which opened in 1924.
The three main objections of phase one include:
• Building a tunnel from the locker room in the Kozuch Football Performance Complex to the stadium. Now, players must walk through Mollenkopf Athletic Center, cross John R. Wooden Drive and walk through game-day crowds to reach Ross-Ade Stadium. The underground structure could also position Purdue to better showcase its state-of-the-art locker room and ultimately lay a foundation for future amenities, such as a recruiting-focused space. Seats would be lost near the student section, but the plan is to add seats in the south end zone to compensate.
• Converting and expanding a Purdue Team Store located in the northeast corner of the Ross-Ade parking lot into a dining/nutrition center to feed the department’s 500-plus athletes. The absence of an area to feed football players in the Kozuch facility needed to be addressed.
• Construction of a concourse connector adjoining additional seating in the south end zone. When Purdue added its new video board in 2020, it was positioned with future renovations in mind for the south end zone.
“We are fortunate at Purdue to have the fan and donor support necessary to continue investing in our sport programs and facilities,” said athletics director Mike Bobinski in a statement.
Work is set to begin in November 2022 and be completed by August 2023.
Details regarding phase one renovations will be shared in coming months. Plans to follow with additional phased renovations will be outlined and communicated as they are further developed. All renovations are funded privately.
“These renovations will make a huge difference for our student-athletes and enhance the overall fan experience at Ross-Ade,” said Brohm in a statement. “We are grateful to our fans, donors, the Board of Trustees, Mike Bobinski, and President Daniels for their commitment to the growth and success of Purdue Football. This project will have a positive impact on our program for years to come.”
Plans for the Ross-Ade project originally were approved by the board in August 2019. But the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 delayed moving forward. But the return of fans and lucrative television revenue have brightened the financial picture enough to move forward with the project.
Phase two could call for building a mezzanine deck above the Ross-Ade Stadium vomitories to open up the concourse so the field is in view at all times. The plan also could call for squaring off the north end zone to move the stands closer to the field. The north end zone currently features a horseshoe shape.