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Stadium renovation is right on schedule

Martin Stadium construction crews continue renovations on schedule despite the challenges of working around football games.   

“We’re where we want to be,” said
John David Wicker, associate director of athletics event and facility operations at WSU.  “We had our challenges going into the Idaho game, but everything went pretty smooth.”

Crewman lays bricks on a future ticket office
on the north-east corner of Martin Stadium

Crews are currently working on the first two phases of the four-phase Martin Stadium Expansion and Renovation project. 

Phases One and Two, scheduled to be completed by fall 2008, include tripling the number of restrooms, adding more concessions and constructing year-round ticket offices.

Phase One renovation is focusing on development and beautification in the east and south ends of the stadium. More than 100 toilets are being added to facilities in the east and south sides of the stadium, with more on the way. Ticket offices are being installed on the north-eastern side of stadium, as well as storage facilities and new concessions stands.  A new plaza on the eastern end is scheduled to be ready for next year.  The area will act as “a gathering place for game days”, Wicker said.

Also underway is the construction of new eastern gates.  Emphasis is being made on developing the eastern access points into the main entrances for the stadium.  The purpose is to adapt to the predominant flow of pedestrian traffic into the stadium, which arrives from the eastern side, Wicker said. 

The mostly-completed Phase Two focuses on expanding the northern concourse area.   Restrooms received a boost in ‘half-time rush’ capacity with the addition of 188 toilets, up from 62. “There were no lines outside the bathrooms at the last game,” Wicker said, reminiscent of winding lines of anxious fans in years past.  All new stadium restroom facilities will also be low-flush, low-flow systems.  “We’ve incorporated environmentally friendly strategies where we can,” Wicker said.

Equipment lies on the floor of an unifinshed
bathroom on the south side of Martin Stadium

The north side also received a total of 21 new permanent concession facilities to cure fans’ half-time hunger pangs.  Police and medical service areas have also been added along with more than 35 parking spaces below the concourse.

The Martin Stadium renovations have been long-awaited and necessary to support demand, Wicker said.  Tentative plans for a stadium renovation have been around since the 1990s, he said.  “If we were going to continue giving our fans a positive experience, we needed to do this.”   

Project Phase Three, scheduled to begin sometime in 2008, will consist of constructing loge boxes, luxury suites and club seats above the north stands.

The cost for Phases One and Two of the project was $24 million.  Funding is provided by football ticket and student fees.

Wicker said crews will continue working around games and winter weather.  “We’ll work as long as we can,” he said.



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