Tennessee is delaying the start of construction on a Neyland Stadium renovation project to review all aspects of the plan.
Noting that he’s been on the job for less than a year, athletic director Phillip Fulmer announced Thursday that “we simply need time to study all ideas of scope and design” for the project and that delaying it would be “financially prudent.”
Fulmer said at a Thursday news conference that he’s hopeful construction will begin “within the next year or so, no more than two.” Fulmer added that he “could not be more excited” about the renovation project.
The 102,455-seat stadium will have its 100th anniversary in 2021.
“Neyland Stadium is absolutely a treasure to all who love Tennessee, and we are trusted by alumni and our fans and administration to get it right for the next 100 years,” Fulmer said. “At the very core, we must be prudent and responsible. As I’ve said during my 10 months here (as athletic director), we need to take our time to look at all of our options.”
Tennessee’s Board of Trustees had approved an updated $180 million first phase of renovation last November when John Currie was athletic director. At the time, the project called for two phases totaling $340 million.
Since then, Fulmer replaced Currie, Beverly Davenport was fired as chancellor, the board of trustees was reconfigured and Joe DiPietro announced his pending retirement as university president.
Fulmer said private donations for the renovation process have exceeded $50 million