Delaware Stadium renovations set to begin when football season ends

20 November 2018

One year after the University of Delaware announced a planned $60 million facelift for Delaware Stadium, the project is set to move forward.

Delaware announced at halftime of Saturday’s final regular-season football game against Villanova that construction work will soon commence.

“We’re gonna dig dirt after the football season is over,” UD athletic director Chrissi Rawak told The News Journal.

The Blue Hens may have another home game next week, as the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Tournament field will be announced Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on ESPNU. First-round games are Nov. 24.

The university had announced in November 2017 it would renovate the West (home-side) stands at Delaware Stadium with improved seating, provide luxury options and build a modern structure for media and coaches’ booths.

Just outside the stadium on the west side and connected to it would be a 90,000-square-foot structure housing a wellness center, athletic training, sports medicine, nutrition, sports psychology and strength and conditioning facilities to serve UD student-athletes.

It was christened the Whitney Athletic Center after a $10 million gift from 1980 graduate and former UD golf team member Ken Whitney and his wife, Elizabeth.

“The Whitney Athletic Center will play an essential role in helping ensure the success of our student-athletes, both in competition and in the classroom,” UD president Dennis Assanis said in a university press release. “Ken and Liz Whitney have demonstrated their deep commitment to our students through their generous gift, and we appreciate everyone who has followed their lead in supporting this project.”

Of that $60 million, the university was providing $25 million, with athletics raising the other $35 million with an eye on beginning work after the 2017 football season. The “Build Our Home” athletic project is part of UD’s Delaware First fund-raising campaign launched in 2017.

Rawak said Delaware has raised $32 million, which is enough to start the work, and is certain it’ll have the rest by its June 2018 deadline.

“We have many people who have made verbal commitments and we’re just working to get those things finalized and formalized,” Rawak said. “We’re very grateful to the board [of trustees] and the president for granting us the opportunity to move forward and put shovels in the ground.”