The Baltimore Sun reported today on the renovation and expansion plans for Byrd Stadium (brought to you by Chevy Chase Bank). Most important to the plan are: the addition of 64 luxury suites and 500 mezzanine seats in Phase 1, improving the view of fans in the first ten row by lowering the field in Phase 2 and finally adding 8,000 endzone seats in Phase 3.
The key quotes here:
"The first phase of expansion - scheduled to be completed by August 2010 - includes 64 swanky suites with flat-screen televisions, food services, and indoor and outdoor seating. Maryland can't move forward with its other plans, though, until at least 50 of the luxury suites have been sold...Ten suites have already been sold..."
"The cost for phase one of the project is $50.8 million, to be paid entirely by the athletic department. Maryland sold the naming rights of the field to Chevy Chase Bank for $20 million last year, and borrowed $35 million from the University System of Maryland."
The 64 boxes will generate about $3 million per year paying off the $35 million. On the positive side the Terps are located near one of the wealthiest counties in the nation on the down side football at UM is second fiddle to basketball and the recent fall to a mediocre team in a slumping BCS conference will not get the alumni pumped up. Yet given the prices for boxes with the Redskins $40,000 is a real bargain.