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Memphis Athletics to begin $220M renovation to Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium in May

April 23, 2024

Memphis Athletics announced updated plans and timelines for the transformative renovation of Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium in Memphis, Tenn. Work is set to begin in May with completion anticipated before the start of the 2026 Memphis Football season.

“The elements of this renovation represent a game-changing opportunity for our fans, our football program and our athletic department,” said Laird Veatchm, University of Memphis vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics. “The experience over the next two seasons is going to be different and there may be some growing pains for a short period of time, but this renovation truly represents transformational growth. We are incredibly grateful to our leadership donors for their tremendous early response to matching the Fred Smith Family challenge pledge, which has already led to over $16 million in gift commitments including nine in the seven-figures.”

Photo: Memphis Athletics

Photo: Memphis Athletics

Memphis Athletics, alongside the University’s Auxiliary Services Foundation, is committing to a $220 million investment and approaching the renovation in phases, allowing work to begin as quickly as possible while securing the necessary funding for subsequent phases. Initially, Memphis is moving forward with the first two phases at an estimated cost of $195 million. Memphis and firms Populous, Barton Malow and MFA, in addition to local partners brg3s, Grinder Taber Grinder and Allworld, are designing the project to the full three-phase cost of $220 million.

Phase one

Phase one includes the renovation of the existing East Side Suite Level Two to accommodate moving media and gameday operations from their current West Side location to prepare for phase two, as well as other general upkeep, deferred maintenance and site prep elements. This phase is estimated at $8-10 million.

Phase two

Phase two includes the transformation of the stadium’s West Side to dramatically improve the look of the stadium and provide several modern-day premium seating options, create a unique interior “party plaza”area for all fans and begin initial perimeter and halo upgrades to create a hospitality space around the stadium.

This phase will start upon securing the necessary funds initially estimated to be the first $25 million of the matching funds needed to meet the Smith Family’s challenge pledge.

Phase three

Phase three includes a locker room expansion and upgrades, any remaining perimeter, halo and concourse upgrades, other seating enhancements and north end tunnel renovation allowing production access for large-scale events such as concerts.

This phase will start upon securing the necessary funds initially estimated to be the second $25 million of the matching funds needed to meet the Smith Family’s challenge pledge.

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