Since breaking ground in October of 2012, Tiger Stadium’s South Endzone expansion has risen to towering heights over the campus. Death Valley has seen its fair share of additions and upgrades in recent years, but this $80 million undertaking is finally bringing the stadium capacity to 102,321. When fans flood into their seats on Sept. 6, they’ll be sitting in the seventh largest stadium in college football.
The expansion has added 320,000 sq. ft. of space, tallying up 66 new suites and 6,400 additional seats. Many of these Stadium Club South seats feature premium amenities like televisions for instant replay, exclusive food and drink options, climate control and high-speed elevator access.
With greater perks come greater prices, but that hasn’t cut down on demand. The new suites sold out in a matter of days.
When he spoke with 225 this summer, LSU Senior Associate Athletic Director Eddie Nuez noted that with the final push to complete the project, the 525-member expansion team is looking forward to seeing fans enjoy games from the new section.
“First and foremost, our goal is to meet the needs for our fans, namely the need for premium seating areas and addressing our needs within our premium seating areas,” Nuez says. “We’re trying to enhance the fan atmosphere by giving more opportunities in different seats.”
Not only has the expansion added to the size of the stadium, but new tech will make football games even more visually dynamic. The brand new, hulking video board stands 40 ft. tall by 70 ft. wide and is flanked by six new LED ribbon boards, two of which will provide closed captioning.
“What you really need to know about the new video board is that it’s twice the size of Alabama’s,” Nuez jokes.
Jeff Brown, vice president of HKS Architects in Baton Rouge and construction contract administrator for the expansion, says his team’s creative direction for the project was to keep the new features close to the heart of the stadium and its storied past.
“We wanted to make the exterior facade as reminiscent of the original facade as possible,” Brown says. “The design is really about celebrating the history of the structure.”
In particular, the arches used in the expansion call back to the original architecture laid out for the stadium generations ago. It’s only fitting for a hometown firm to pay homage to such an integral part of Louisiana culture.
“It was not only exciting but an honor for HKS to be selected to design an addition to this great historic stadium,” Brown says. “Not only being LSU and a top 10 football team, but something known all over the country and all over the world for its Saturday night football games.”
And those games will take place in a stadium filled with more purple and gold-bleeding brothers and sisters than ever before, one that honors the past but is primed for stories and victories brand new.