Fred Glass confirms Indiana’s plans to enclose south end zone #iufb

A day after Indiana football coach Kevin Wilson pulled back the curtain on plans to enclose the south end zone of Memorial Stadium, IU athletic director confirmed the university’s goals for expansion.

Glass said there is no current timeline and that the plans are in the early stages. The idea behind the expansion is not to add seating to the stadium. Memorial stadium currently has a capacity of 52,929.

While Glass couldn’t say exactly what will go in the new enclosure, it is expected to include a new cafeteria/dining hall that would allow the IU football locker room to expand into the current Hoosier Room under the west stands of Memorial Stadium.

“We’re working hard to make that a reality sooner or later,” Glass said. “One thing I think is important is that expansion is not about increasing capacity. My expectation is that capacity would go up a little, if at all. It’s really not about increasing capacity. It’s about what can we put in that building to help not only football, but all 24 sports.”

Glass said it’s his hope that the south end zone project will be part of a capital campaign to go along with Assembly Hall’s planned expansion. In June, university trustees approved a $35 million renovation plan for the venerable basketball arena. That project was spearheaded by a $40 million gift from Indiana alumna and philanthropist Cindy Simon Skjodt.

The plan for south end zone enhancement was originally included as part of the Bloomington campus’ master plan, released in March 2010.

Upgrades to Memorial Stadium will be only the latest pending additions along 17th street. Glass has also revealed his intentions to replace University Gym with a new facility to serve wrestling and volleyball closer to the central athletics campus near Assembly Hall.

After IU football coach Kevin Wilson pulled back the curtain on the south end zone expansion during his weekly radio show Wednesday evening, Glass said it was ironic that it was he who revealed plans to replace U-Gym while on a radio show months ago.

“I kind of spilled the beans on volleyball and wrestling while on a call-in show just like Kevin sort of spilled the beans on enclosing the south end zone,” Glass said. “Although, frankly, we’ve been talking about it fairly openly, so I’ve got no problem at all with him mentioning that. He’s excited and I think it demonstrates our ongoing commitment to football.”

Wilson revealed the plans on his radio show while answering a caller’s question about Indiana’s football facilities and the arms race between programs around the nation.

“Our infrastructure is awesome,” Wilson said The set up is maybe as good as anyone’s, but in the arms race you never have enough money. … Our place is awesome, but we gotta keep reinvesting.”

15 comments

  1. I don’t see how spending even more money on the cathedral to the Football God’s is going to make IU a football powerhouse. Winning games will.

  2. What am I missing here? This does not sound like a good investment for IU at the this time. In fact, it sounds stupid. Rather than fill in the end zone for purposes other than adding capacity (which is completely unnecessary for years to come), why don’t we spend the money to make sure IU football keeps the best coaching staff possible? We’ve lost a few good assistant coaches, including a very talented Offensive coordinator, in the last two years. That can’t be helping IU build a competitive Big Ten program. Or how about we increase the recruiting budget so that IU can recruit beyond it’s traditional Midwestern base? If we establish a winning program, then we can enclose the south end zone with everything Glass wants to put in there and build additional seating capacity. I know its infrastructure budget vs operating budget, but it seems like we have our priorities a bit out of whack.

  3. Assembly Hall is already paid for they are just moving the capital campaign for that renovation across the parking lot. If you are gonna get recruits you also need to spoil them with amenities. We don’t have a stories tradition to build on so we better have some shiny bells and whistles. Additionally, with the capital campaign in place it won’t pull from the AD coffers used to pay coaches and we are already beyond the Midwest in recruiting in places like Georgia and Florida.

  4. Pfunk, I agree that recruiting top athletes requires first class amenities (i.e., Oregon has the best football team money can buy), but according to Wilson, the football facility “is awesome” right now. I just don’t think it makes sense to build in the south end zone without adding seating capacity, which is certainly not necessary right now. If Glass and the trustees believe IU is going to have a winning program that will generate significantly more ticket sales some day, then building-in the south end zone without adding seating capacity would seem to be penny wise and pound foolish. Then again, since this project is not immediate, maybe it will be a mute point after IU qualifies for bowl games in the next three years.

  5. It’s a good idea to revamp the south end zone and do away with Knothole Park. It might even be a very ethical choice…

    With all the mounting headlines of life-shortening brain damage,debilitating long term effects from concussions, and the level of forces far exceeding any possible protection of the skull inside a helmet, is this really a game where we want a playground for kids down on the field?

    It could easily be argued that organized contact football is on its way to proving a level of harm to health and longevity than could exceed drug abuse, smoking, alcoholism, and high fat diets….Add to those risks the damaging cost to the body that PED’s put into the mix and football is not a game to ethically sell to little tykes as a model.

    It’s probably safer to strap junior to a concrete jackhammer for 3-hours daily than put a football helmet on him/her.

  6. And if were not worried about being ethical and honest with our children in regard to the mounting evidence and growing probabilities that football will cause brain damage, then why on earth are we so worried about serving a couple mugs of beer at a football game?

    We want more butts in the seats and staying there for more than 2 quarters…? Let’s go full abandonment of being a model for children and the conveyance of responsible and safe behavior… Do what they do at North Texas and Minnesota….and 19 other college stadiums across the country. Sell beer.

  7. Anytime IU can remake/update/enhance/expand/replace facilities it should be pursued. As for the $ priority it is just as Pfunk described there all kinds of budgets. Rest assured AD Glass knows about his $ and how to prioritize there use.

  8. I’ve got five grandchildren and there is no way, absolutely no way- even as hooked as I am on this game- none, that I could keep my mouth shut and remain calm about any one of the five ever playing 10 seconds of any real football. I can’t even let my thought go to the image of arriving in a hospital room and seeing one of them with a tube up his throat and nose or hearing a conversation about the recovery from a traumatic brain injury or from the dozens of ‘small concussions’ from practice. It shames me to even think about having allowed it, even as a ‘pretend thought’. And, while on the subject, I remember the former Purdue player now paralyzed who was sucha great athlete and who had to be fed by hand…just can’t.

  9. On another issue. There is merit to Podunker’s argument (see how sober the above made me). I know we are all excited about the waterfall of riches BTN provides our program and how it is democratizing Big Ten football…but let’s not get too excited’ and, yes, give some thought as to how we should spend the extra money. If they are spent to really improve the programs or investing for greater growth and quality like insuring CKW and members of the staff stay and retire from Indiana; or,…24 sports, one team…great!…growing the dominance of soccer, baseball, swimming, track and field…fantastic. If we are simply building ‘gates’ or ‘clock towers’ for decoration…no!

    Also give some thought to funding graduate school scholarships for graduating athletes and the cost of guaranteeing the new B1G rules and concepts. Don’t let he cash burn a hole in the Hoosier pockets. Guarantee a superb growth of our Hoosier athletic programs.

  10. Podunker,

    I could easily see an addition that could be built upon at a later date WHEN attendance increases to add additional seating. I emphasize WHEN because I believe this team is heading in that direction. In the meantime we can add additional world class facilities to draw recruits without the embarrassment of additional empty seats. They will come in time. We need to be patient and let Wilson do his thing. This team is still very young. When we start filling Memorial Stadium on a regular basis we can add seats to the addition then.

  11. Whenever and whatever the final blueprint addition @ south end zone will be; it needs to be first class unique to what the future image of the IU football both, for everyday and game day will be. It has to be done right or not done at all. What is cafeteria dinning hall? I do not necessarily like the term/concept of dinning hall but rather create/design something different both internally and externally. Adding a few more seats, maybe or maybe not and what kind of seating arrangements could be added.

  12. Dude, they aren’t just building a giant building with a cafeteria. They just want to move the Hoosier Room and give the players more space in the locker room and further the health/nutrition/rehab facilities. As Jerry Seinfeld once said, “it does other things!”

  13. I agree with Post #10. These facilities can be re-purposed as appropriate so not too worried that we’re wasting dollars.

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