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UT stadium expansion to include renewed emphasis on veterans

Regents approve $149.9 million plan including memorial plaza, new north end zone structure.

Friday, February 10, 2006

The "memorial" part of Royal-Memorial Stadium will get renewed emphasis as part of a $149.9 million remodeling and expansion plan approved Thursday by the governing board of the University of Texas.

Built in 1924 as a memorial to UT students and alumni who fought and died in World War I, the stadium was rededicated in 1977 to all Americans who fought in any war, said David Dixon, an interim associate vice chancellor for the UT System.

Highlights of the project, which is scheduled to be completed in August 2008:

Replacement of the north end zone structure with a multi-level complex that includes additional seats, club space, suites, athletic offices, academic-advising areas and a basement with gym space. Seating capacity overall will rise to more than 90,000 from the current 80,082.

A 70-foot-long bronze tablet bearing the names of more than 5,000 Texans who died in World War I will be moved to the new outdoor plaza from its current location beneath the north scoreboard. Other plaques in the north end zone will be moved as well. Plaques on east and west sides will remain at current locations.

The new outdoor plaza at the northwest corner will be a memorial to veterans, with a bronze tablet honoring Texas World War I deaths, a monument, landscaping and new stadium entry gates between two towers rising 115 feet, same as the towers in the east grandstand.

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