Tennessee baseball unveils Lindsey Nelson Stadium renovation concepts before NCAA Tournament
Tennessee unveiled concepts for Lindsey Nelson Stadium renovations on Friday with plans to incorporate fan feedback into the future changes.
“We don’t have to be the biggest stadium in college baseball," UT athletics director Danny White said. "But let’s be the best — the most unique. … With our fans, we can do that if we do this project right.”
UT released renderings prior to its 10-0 win against Alabama State to open the NCAA Tournament.
The renderings feature drastic changes to the current design of Lindsey Nelson Stadium, which has been a focal point for White, Vols coach Tony Vitello and the athletic department.
"I just really applaud the administration and the idea of working hard on this so maybe if we’re able to get it out on a day like today, the timing is perfect," Vitello said. "My phone was blowing up and I think everyone is very impressed. It’s hard to get into the exact details right now of ‘What’s this road going to be called?’, but just to see the grand scale of it lets people know how serious everyone around here is in investing in baseball."
Plans include enhancing team areas and athlete spaces. while modernizing the stadium with premium amenities, seating options and layout. UT intends to redesign the home-plate entrance to the stadium with a "premium tower" and "totally different look," White said.
“We need to do a better job with the new stadium of providing better experiences," White said. "The fan experience needs to get better at the new stadium.”
Total capacity after the renovations is not set. UT lists the capacity at 4,283. The conceptual renderings are aimed to give fans a first look and an opportunity to give feedback about what types of seating options they would want to purchase.
The initial offerings on the Tennessee Fund website, where the stadium renderings were released, indicates six suites and 300 club seats are available for purchase. White said those numbers are fluid and will be based upon fan desires.
Changes will not be made prior to the 2023 season.
"We are ready to move pretty quickly," White said.
Renovations to Lindsey Nelson Stadium were the focal point of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville's proposed budget for 2022-23 fiscal year, which had $56.8 million aimed toward the baseball stadium. The project description indicates the funds would aid in "construction of additional amenities including a new indoor infield facility along with expanded site improvements," while enhancing existing spaces and services.
"All of those projects that went to the state are part of the process we have to follow," White said. "Some have called that a request. All of these projects for our athletics department will be privately funded. It is not a state request. That is a very soft number at this point."
Tennessee is the heavy favorite to win the College World Series for the first time in program history.
"We are really excited to be able to take advantage of this momentum that Tony and this team have built the last couple years," White said.
Mike Wilson covers University of Tennessee athletics. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @ByMikeWilson. If you enjoy Mike’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that will allow you access to all of it.