With Duke football performing at the highest level it ever has, at least as far back as most anyone can remember vividly, plans to improve Wallace Wade Stadium are moving forward. On Wednesday the Board of Trustees at Duke approved design plans and granted authorization for three projects focusing on improving the football stadium. When all is done, Duke hopes to be able to bring more of a Cameron Indoor feel to the football field.
One project will be to build a tower with luxury suites and premium seating. Another project will add a new video board in the south end zone. One final project will focus on concourse improvements. The playing surface will also be lowered and the track will be removed. The removal of the track will make way for rows of seats to bring fans closer to the action on the field.
“They’re going to be very Duke-like,” Duke athletics director Kevin White said, according to The Charlotte Observer. White had compared the plans to the atmosphere inside Duke’s basketball arena, Cameron Indoor Stadium. “It will be a boutique college football facility,” White continued. “It’s going to be terrific. It’s going to fit Duke really well. I don’t think we need to emulate anybody else. I think we need to figure out what works best at Duke.”
Duke is banking on the renovations providing more reasons for fans to come to games instead of watching from home. Like many schools, Duke faces concerns about football attendance. The Blue Devils, fresh off an ACC Championship Game appearance, have averaged fewer than 26,000 fans per game in the early going.
The stadium projects will be begin at the conclusion of the 2014 season and will continue through the 2015 season as a two-year master plan. That should have the stadium completed in plenty of time for the 2016 season.
Photo via Duke Athletics.