For the first time since Hancock Stadium was built in 1961, major renovations are planned for the home of Illinois State football. The facility will undergo a $20- million upgrade that will boost seating to about 14,000. Completion is targeted for the fall of 2013.
“Hancock Stadium is literally the most visible front door to our campus,” said President Al Bowman, who announced the project last fall. “It is the first structure most people see when arriving at Illinois State from Main Street. It is a quickly noticed landmark that should reflect the top quality and high standards of this institution. Unfortunately, it does exactly the opposite.”
With nine million cars driving on Main Street annually, the primary focus will be on the stadium’s east side. The existing east-side stands will be demolished and a new grandstand created, complete with brick columns and glass walls to provide a more inviting presence.
Plans call for a two-story enclosed structure to house a minimum of eight suites, a club level with a minimum 500 seats, a club room, and a media and event production facility.
Outdoor terrace spaces and improved concession areas and restrooms will also be a part of the project, which was planned after gauging fan interest and support through a survey.
“When it was built 50 years ago, Hancock Stadium was a fine, proud facility,” Bowman said. “But the infrastructure hasn’t received a single significant upgrade and it threatens to become an embarrassment. Hancock Stadium’s functions are too important and its placement on campus too central to allow its deterioration to continue.”
Funding will come from a variety of revenue sources, including student fees. They will not be increased to cover the upgrade. “The fees students already pay to support athletics will be directed toward the Hancock Stadium project,” Bowman said. Funding from outside of the University will be also sought.
For more information on how you can be a part of the Hancock Stadium Renovation Project, call the ISU Athletics Development office at (309) 438-3264.