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Hancock set to lose section of stands

Seating in the south end zone of Hancock Stadium will be removed before the start of this year’s football season. The change was made based on a university commissioned structural engineering study, which found the stands potentially unsafe.

Temporary bleachers will be installed to accommodate the Big Red Marching Machine, and the student section will be moved to the east side bleachers. The work will cost an estimated $350,000, with the funds coming from existing bond revenue set aside for stadium renovations. In addition to installing temporary bleachers, landscape improvements will provide for south end lawn seating and standing room space.

 “This is the initial step in what will be an ongoing campus conversation regarding permanent renovations to Hancock Stadium,” President Al Bowman said. “With the exception of some minor repairs, the facility looks much as it did when constructed more than 50 years ago. Hancock Stadium is one of the visual front doors to the University, and a comprehensive rehabilitation project is well overdue.”

In addition to hosting home Redbird football games, Hancock Stadium is used for a variety of university and community events, including the Illinois Special Olympics, high school football games, Town of Normal recreational leagues, and summer youth camps.