LAWRENCE, Kan. – Work will begin next Tuesday (June 24) on a project that will remove the track from KU’s Memorial Stadium.
Workers will surround the field with new artificial turf, which will extend 37 feet from the sidelines. Additional turf in the north end zone will extend 80 feet from the back of the end zone, some 25 feet more than exists today. Ten feet of asphalt will extend from the end of the turf to the stands on the north, east and west sides of the stadium. The south end zone will remain largely unchanged, except that a new decorative fence will replace the 10-foot chain-link fence that currently stands in that end zone.
The project will take approximately six weeks.
“Rarely in facilities work do we get to do something that directly benefits players and fans at the same time,” KU Athletics Director Sheahon Zenger said. “We’ll have a larger safety zone for players and more usable practice space for the team. Fans will immediately appreciate the improved optics that these changes will provide.
“During our recent discussions with players, coaches and fans,” Zenger continued, “their highest priority was that we remove the track. We are grateful that a donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, stepped up to make possible this intermediate phase of renovation.”
Recognized as the first stadium built on a college campus west of the Mississippi River, Memorial Stadium is the seventh oldest collegiate stadium in the nation; it has a capacity of 50,071. The Jayhawks moved into Memorial Stadium in 1921. The stadium is dedicated to the University of Kansas students who fought and died in World War I.