Earlier this week we updated you on the progress of the current upgrades and the plans for the north end-zone. Since Jay Jacobs said they are going back to the drawing board on the north end-zone, I figured it would be a good time to give my thoughts on what changes, upgrades, improvements, etc. should be made to Jordan-Hare Stadium.
The North End-Zone
1) Create an upper concourse. No matter what design is ultimately chosen, I would like to see a concourse that connects the east and west upper decks. Currently, the only way from one to the other is by going down the ramp of one and back up the ramp of the other. Adding a concourse that connects the two would be fantastic. It would also be necessary for idea #2.
2) Create an escalator for the upper decks. This idea comes courtesy of a replying tweet when the first article was published the other day. Someone mentioned the need for an escalator. That got me thinking about how those less mobile (or those with small children) get up to the decks. Right now, I know for sure of at least one elevator on each side of the stadium, but that's slow and doesn't fit too many people on it.
So, why not an escalator system? It can be place in the middle of the north end-zone behind the new concourse and connect to the concourse running between upper decks. That way folks who need it can ride an escalator to their and then split off to the east or west to their respective upper decks. They're likely going to raze the north end-zone for the renovations, anyway, so this wouldn't need to be retrofitted in any way.
3) Don't go full Double MOTHRATRON. The possibility of a second scoreboard the size of the new one being placed in the north end-zone was brought up by Jay Jacobs before. I don't like this idea at all. For one thing, it's already huge and gaudy. We don't need two of them. Put up two smaller boards at the corners of the new north stands if you have to. And if you do one big board, then depending on how high they build the north stands, I would like to make sure the height of the scoreboard(s) on that side don't stick out way above the one in the sound end-zone. Let's try to keep those clean lines the stadium currently has. Which leads to point #4...
4) No matter what's done, make it fit in with the rest of the stadium. I know they've explored the possibility of a tiered design, but I hope it still fits in with the general flow of the lower bowl. Make the concourse that goes around the middle of the lower bowl still work. Make the lines meet so that the slope of the stands still looks similar. I don't want it to look strangely lopsided with the giant scoreboard on top of the perfectly symmetrical bowl on the south side, but then also lopsided because of the alterations and tiers of the north side.
I don't have the first clue how to do that and make it look good, but one of the things that has always made Jordan-Hare Stadium so nice to me is that even though additions have been made bit-by-bit, the stadium looks as if it was designed and built all at once. It has very clean lines all around, and I want it to stay that way.
The Stadium In General
1) Lower the Field. I can't say this one enough. It would probably be easier to just remove the first two or three rows of seats, create more side-line space, and add those seats back in elsewhere, but either way, the first few rows of the stadium on the sidelines are some of the absolute worst seats in any venue I've ever been in.
I know this because in 2013 that's where my seats were. It was my first year purchasing faculty tickets and they split my seats up at first. The only place I could get two together was on the front row. If we'd been in the end-zone, that would have been fine, but on the sideline it's horrible. You can't see over the players, media, cheerleaders, etc. The only way I knew what was going on in the game was from watching the video screen.
Oh well, at least folks down there will have an even bigger TV to watch the action on, this year.
2) Clean up the outside of the west stands. The east side, with its murals and brick and giant AU (and now without that horrible blue tiger-stripe tarp) looks great. The west side needs a bit of work on its facade. I don't know if that means more murals, but more brick would definitely be nice to fit in with the campus as a whole.
3) Replace the seating with stadium seats. Ok, this one is probably not going to happen for a number of reasons. It would be expensive. I'm not sure they could fit them in and maintain the current capacity. It would seriously diminish leg room (one of my primary gripes about the Rose Bowl). However, it would add a nice touch over the worn out benches. Plus, given the beauty of Auburn's natural grass field, if we reached the FIFA threshold, then Auburn could be a possible World Cup site in the future.
So now I throw it out to you, the readers. What other improvements, upgrades, removals, etc. would you like to see for Jordan-Hare Stadium?