It may be scorching outside but football is just around the corner. The University of Tennessee is racing against the clock to complete phase one of a 107 million dollar renovation project. They're adding 414 club seats underneath the skyboxes at Neyland Stadium and widening the north end zone concourse inside Gate 21. The seating capacity will actually go down because of the upgrade, from about 104,000 to 102,000. There will also be improved concessions, some new water fountains, and a team store inside the gate area.
Phase 1 of the 5 phase project will cost about 24 million and is on schedule for the September 2nd opener against California. Athletic director Mike Hamilton says it's all being done with the fans in mind.
"You try to balance the things that are fundamental to the success of the stadium, like the infrastructure, that's why it was in phase 1 with the things you want to accomplish for your fans and how you are going to pay for it. "
Hamilton says 54 of the 107 million has already been raised through private donations and sale of the new club seats. The Memphis Tigers, by the way, will NOT travel to Knoxville this year. The Vols come here to Memphis September 30th.