Tech Completes Study On Stadium Expansions, Moves Ahead With Bid Process

ATLANTA (August 2, 2000) -- The Georgia Tech Athletic Association has completed a feasibility study to explore an expansion and renovation program which will include Russ Chandler Stadium, Tech's baseball facility, as well as Bobby Dodd Stadium at Grant Field.

The Athletic Association will now begin the process of asking for bids from architects and engineers in order to proceed with the design phase of the expansions, which will provide for 5,000 seats at Russ Chandler Stadium in particular.

"The decision now is how we will handle the whole process," said Dave Braine, Tech's director of athletics, "whether we handle it ourselves, hire a project manager to handle it for us, hire a firm to turn-key it, or a combination of the three. I think the least we will do will be to hire a project manager."

The study and plans for the Russ Chandler Stadium project were prepared by Rosser International. The total cost for the baseball stadium expansion is approximately $7 million.

"This will be all privately funded," said Braine. "We cannot begin raising money for either facility until January of 2001 when Georgia Tech finishes its capital campaign. My feeling, at the present time, is that the earliest the baseball stadium could be complete is for the 2002 season."

The baseball facility would double in size in the plans proposed for the renovation of Russ Chandler Stadium. The current grandstand, built in 1985, seats approximately 1,800. More than 4,000 spectators jammed inside the park for NCAA regional tournament games during the 2000 season.

To reach the goal of 5,000 total seats, the current grandstand will be extended down the first and third base lines beyond the current dugouts, which will be eliminated. Additional seating will be constructed from the existing first row down to field level. This will be made possible by moving home plate outward approximately 20 feet. In addition, bleachers will be built beyond the new dugouts to seat approximately 1,400 fans.

The current concourse, restrooms, concession stands and press box will be replaced. A wider, covered concourse will be created by building outward toward Ferst Drive from the existing grandstand, allowing room for two new ticket booths, two new concession stands and two new sets of restrooms.

Above the new concourse will be a brand new press level, which will include ample space and unobstructed sight lines for writers and broadcasters, flanked by luxury boxes that will extend to each end of the grandstand. The press level will be accessible by elevator or stairs.

The project also includes replacing the playing field with a new sand-profile, under-drained natural turf surface. In addition to moving home plate outward 20 feet, the field also will be rotated slightly clockwise, and a new outfield wall will be built. The outfield dimensions will not change radically from the current ones - 316 feet down the left field line, 325 down the right field line, 360 to the power alleys and 395 to center field.

The bullpens will remain in essentially their present locations. An indoor batting cage will be built beyond the bleachers down the left field line, replacing the present outdoor cage on the first base side and the indoor tunnel underneath the present grandstand.

Russ Chandler Stadium (1985)
Current Capacity of Grandstand: 1,800
Capacity following reconstruction: 5,000


Project Architect: HOK Sport
Portfolio includes Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Jacobs Field, PNC Park and Philips Arena as well as University of Arkansas' Baum Stadium.

Project Management: Carter/Turner (joint venture of Carter & Associates and Turner Construction)
Turner Construction is the nation's fourth largest contractor, and largest sports facility contractor with $4.9 billion in revenue in 1999.

The current grandstand, press box, concession stand, restrooms, and locker rooms will all be replaced. The existing field will be enhanced, and a larger grandstand, press box, new suites, and all new support facilities will be constructed.