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KU releases Memorial Stadium renovation plans

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Wow.

NCAA Football: Baylor at Kansas John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The stadium upgrade renderings that KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger promised three months ago have finally been released to the public after first being shared with some of KU’s biggest donors.

A total estimated bill of $350 million will need to be raised in order to take care of renovations to Memorial Stadium, Hoglund Ballpark, and a new volleyball arena. $315 million is earmarked for football.

The renderings for all three facilities can be seen at KUSports.com.

That is a completely different football stadium. It would close off the south end zone and add a second deck to the east side. There would be additional suites added on the west side, creating an “upper deck” there as well. The north side of the stadium looks to be squared off, so it will lose its distinctive “U” shape.

This is so much more than what I expected, honestly. This is incredible. The University has not released what the new stadium capacity will be, but I’m sure all 20,000 of us KU football fans will really, really like it.

I kid, I kid. (Or do I?) I’m sure folks will come check it out the first year or two, but after that, Kansas football better be winning games against MAC teams at the very least, or nothing is going to change long-term from an attendance standpoint.

Buried in all this is an additional announcement that KU has extended its contract with adidas, a $191 million, 14-year deal (about $13.6M per year).

David Booth - the guy who paid more than $4 million for the original rules of basketball a few years ago and then donated $9 million more to the University for a Hall of Athletics (set up kind of like a Hall of Fame) - pledged $50 million, or about 15% of the estimated $350 million it will take to complete the project.

Construction will start on an indoor practice facility following the 2017 season, with improvements to the stadium to follow in stages following the 2018 season.

Stu Horejsi pledged an additional $10 million to go toward a new volleyball arena adjacent to Allen Fieldhouse. The existing arena - already named the Horejsi Family Athletics Center - will be razed and a new arena built. The new facility will have a similar but slightly different name: Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena.

The pledge drive for the $350 million has been dubbed the “Raise the Chant” campaign.