Stadium Expansion Would Provide Unprecedented $40M for KU Academics

Sept. 2, 2009

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Revenue from a proposed club-seating addition on the east side of Memorial Stadium would be directed to a $40 million commitment by Kansas Athletics to academic programs at the University of Kansas, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little and Athletics Director Lew Perkins announced today.

The project, which requires approval from the Kansas Board of Regents, has been submitted for inclusion on the Regents’ September 16-17 meeting agenda.

“I’m pleased to support this project because of its unprecedented $40 million investment in academics.” said Gray-Little. “Collegiate athletics provides a number of benefits to universities, both tangible and intangible, but there can be no question about the tremendous value of this commitment to KU students, teachers and researchers. I thank Athletics Director Lew Perkins for making this commitment, which shows how success on the field can translate into direct support for the academic mission.”

Chancellor Gray-Little said that specific allocations of the $40 million investment were yet to be determined, but it would support students, faculty and academic programs. She has identified increasing the undergraduate graduation rate, enhancing KU’s scholarly and research profile, and securing additional resources as the three initial goals she intends to pursue as chancellor.

The Gridiron Club would be housed in a tower on the east side of Memorial Stadium and would seat some 3,000 fans. It is designed to complement the existing west side scholarship suites and enhance the appearance of the stadium from neighborhoods to the east.

Revenues from the sale of seats in the club are expected to finance the project’s $34 million construction cost and the $40 million commitment to academic programs. Pricing and other details on seating in the club will be announced at a later date.

“We are impressed with Chancellor Gray-Little’s vision for the University of Kansas and want to do our part to make it a reality,” said Perkins. “Everyone at Kansas Athletics believes that the academic success of the university is paramount, so we’re excited to make this investment in the future academic success of KU. We encourage others to invest in the future of this great university.”