If you saw Saturday’s Waco Tribune-Herald, attended Baylor’s Homecoming victory over Missouri, frequent BaylorBears.com or follow @BaylorProud on Twitter, then you heard the news first: Baylor Regents have released a conceptual drawing of what a new, on-campus football stadium could look like. (Click on the image at right for a larger version.)
The next step is a feasibility study that, over the next month or so, will help answer questions such as seating capacity, number of suites and other amenities. (Everyone’s input is requested; click here to take the survey.) The now-public rendering is just a first shot at what could be; bolstered by seeing big dreams come to fruition around Baylor over the past decade, university leaders are daring to dream big again.
An on-campus stadium was among the most-mentioned single items when public input was gathered for Baylor’s new strategic plan. The preferred site is on the Brazos River, adjacent to I-35 across from the law school and the Highers Athletic Complex.
The university is working with Populous (formerly HOK Sport), an architectural firm known for its work on such stadiums as Camden Yards in Baltimore, the new Yankee Stadium in New York, Reliant Stadium in Houston, Heinz Field in Pittsburgh and TCF Bank Stadium, home to University of Minnesota football.
As noted above, the rendering is simply a concept of what features a Baylor stadium might include. The architect’s preliminary vision is for a 45,000- to 50,000-seat stadium, open on one end to look out across the Brazos at the Baylor campus, with a red-brick exterior to match Baylor’s campus architecture. A foot bridge would span the river to allow fans and students to walk freely from campus to the stadium and back and offer boat access to the stadium as well. The project would likely have a price tag somewhere in the neighborhood of $250 million.
Of course, while such details are interesting, it’s important to note that the project has not been approved yet; this discussion is all still very preliminary. There is no timeline for construction; right now, things are going one step at a time, beginning with the fan survey. It will take a strong showing of support from the Baylor family — not only vocal support, but financial support as well — to keep the project moving forward.
Still, this is exciting news, and gives Baylor fans quite a bit to dream about.
Sic ’em, Baylor football!