Advance the Standard
EWU Football Stadium Renovation
That was the against-the-odds thinking in 1987 when EWU joined the Big Sky Conference. Nay-sayers didn’t think it could be done. Now we’re a perennial powerhouse in the Big Sky.
Why not? When cynics thought the idea was a bit too crazy, EWU went ahead and installed the now famous red turf in 2010. Then in storybook fashion, the Eagles went on to win their first ever FCS National Title that same season.
Why not? We’re asking the same question now as we plan renovations on a tired, insufficient stadium. Eagle Nation deserves a space that matches the strength, passion and hard-work of a program and is a point of pride throughout the region and beyond.
from 480 to:
private loge seats:
So, we ask YOU—why not?
While the stadium’s location is almost perfect, what the fans find inside is not—mismatched and uncomfortable seating, a track separating the fans from the action on the field, inconveniently located concessions, and run-down restroom facilities.
Improving the existing amenities will allow Eastern to create a more defined football environment—one that lives up to the designation of Spokane’s football team.
The cost has been kept at $25 million. EWU cannot use state dollars to build or remodel athletic facilities. That’s why we need your help to turn the existing facility into a stadium worthy of Eagle Nation’s energy and loyalty.
A Stadium Task Force appointed by the Board of Trustees has completed its work and is pleased with the fundraising strategy and stadium renderings. The Task Force recommends that it is time to move ahead with this project because we have so many donors/supporters who are excited and ready to help. The university has a winning plan in place and it’s important to capitalize on the momentum/excitement surrounding the start of the football season to jump start the project.
This is a reasonable, responsible and reachable goal to satisfy the enthusiasm of our fans. The size and cost of this project is just right for the university. Most important, it allows Eastern to improve the overall game day experience by focusing specifically on the enhancements our supporters asked for in focus groups and surveys, including:
- Removal of the track while maintaining the red turf
- Enhanced seating on the east side of the stadium and overall sight lines
- Addition of premium seating options
- Improved concessions/bathrooms
No. This project will be funded through private donations. Eastern Washington University is prohibited from using state funds/operating dollars to enhance athletic facilities, and we are not asking our students to pay a special fee to help fund this plan (such a student fee is only something that could be brought forward by the students themselves through the Associated Students of EWU – ASEWU).
Eastern worked with ALSC Architects of Spokane, which has a proven record of successful projects around the region–including athletic facilities at Whitworth University, Gonzaga University and Washington State University. ALSC has also completed athletic facility master planning and concept work on the EWU campus over the past 20 years. The renderings are conceptual at this point, and may change as we move into additional design and planning phases.
Construction will commence when the money is raised. We can definitively say the next 18-24 months are critical fundraising months, and as we progress we will be able to identify clear timelines. The red turf, however, must be replaced by the start of the next football season.
The capacity will remain about the same: 8,612. All seats will be new and the setting will be louder and more intimate. The work with ALSC revealed that rather than adding seats, it is more cost effective to renovate the stadium into a venue that will meet the needs of our fans and the product on the field. We are reconfiguring some seating and expanding seating on the east side. The proposed stadium design allows for additional seating to be added in the future as needed.
In addition to converting the existing press box to suites, there will be covered club seats on the west side of the stadium. Loge, or box seating, will also be included.
Above the expanded east side seating area.
Yes. In fact, replacing the red turf is the first order of business that must be addressed at the end of this season. Purchased in 2010, the turf has reached its life expectancy and efforts are already underway to raise the $1.3 million to replace the red turf.
We can’t say for sure right now, but there might be some opportunities for other donors as well. We are very appreciative of what Michael Roos has done for Eastern over the years.
Right now, we are looking to move the track to the south side of the P.E. building, where the soccer and practice fields are located. We want the most appropriate location in that area that meets the university’s overall needs.
Yes. We put students first and are focused on academics and their success. Last fall we raised a record $1.8 million on Giving Joy Day for scholarships and student success. Thanks to the Legislature we are building a new state-of-the-art science center; it’s why we are the lead tenant in the innovative Catalyst project in downtown Spokane’s University District; and it’s why we just renovated our student union building to give our students an excellent hub to study and work together. Raising money for student scholarships has been, and continues to be our top priority.
We believe the stadium is just one part of a bigger approach to investing in the whole campus. Game days already bring a huge sense of pride and enthusiasm to campus, and improving that experience will enhance the university’s overall image, help with recruitment and enrollment, and raise expectations across campus. With all the challenges facing higher education nationwide, this is the time to aggressively fundraise for academics and athletics.
EWU is confident the stadium renovation will help increase revenues in the athletic department. Our community loves football and we want to make it a consistently sought-after ticket.
Ticket prices are not related to this project. Our ticket prices have always been affordable and as demand grows and cost of business increases, the athletic department has made appropriate adjustments.
We have a solid plan that is more reasonable and in line with our needs and what our fans expect. Eastern has the people in place to make this happen! Our donors and supporters seem more eager to be involved than ever before.
We’re going to fundraise! We have a great team in place, a great support network and we’re excited to get to work!