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Today in “Why?”: Vanderbilt in talks to build a new football stadium

As Kentucky fans, we can’t say a lot about Vanderbilt football considering they’ve beaten us four of the last five seasons; however, I had to scratch my head when this headline came across my feed: “Vanderbilt in talks for new football stadium.”

I’ve been to Vanderbilt’s stadium several times. It’s nothing special, about what you would expect from Vanderbilt football: an old-school structure where local youth groups sell kettlecorn, old men wear pale gold sweaters, and they blast a foghorn without realizing how ridiculous it sounds. Despite various renovations since it was build in 1922, the 40,350 seat structure is still the least impressive station in the SEC. But it’s the SEC, and it’s Vanderbilt, so you know, it makes sense. When the sun’s setting during the final seconds of a win over MTSU, the place almost has a bit of charm about it.

Today, Vandy athletic director David Williams told The Tennessean that he wants to build a new stadium within the next three to four years at an estimated cost of $60 million to $90 million. Williams said he doesn’t want to increase capacity, a wise move since Vandy’s struggling to fill up their current stadium as is. Finding a new site will be difficult since every inch of Vanderbilt’s campus and the West End area of Nashville is already jam-packed with businesses, houses, and reclaimed barn wood decorated restaurants. Williams said he doesn’t want to renovate the current stadium, but considering the lack of space, he might be forced to. An off-campus stadium just doesn’t make sense, and even then, space is at such a premium in Nashville these days that options are limited. There’s talk of bringing an MLS franchise to Nashville, in which case the city could partner with Vanderbilt to build a new stadium for both the football team and the soccer team. There’s potential there, but again, where would you put it?

Since I live in Nashville, I’m sure I care a lot more about this than you all do, but after the past few weeks, at the very least, take heart in the fact that UK has a really nice football stadium. Without an annoying foghorn.


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

3 Comments for Today in “Why?”: Vanderbilt in talks to build a new football stadium

  1. jman3715
    4:45 pm September 16, 2016 Permalink

    I had to stop reading after I read that Vandy has won four of the last five. How depressing is that.

  2. 615cats35
    5:28 pm September 16, 2016 Permalink

    As a member of the select group of Nashville Natives, it definitely makes sense for Vanderbilt to build a new stadium. As is the case with all 14 members, they are getting $30+ million a year from the SEC Network. So economically it makes sense. Also, when it comes to stadiums in the SEC, they are the doormat. Building a new stadium, will bring a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm to a typically dormant program. Vandy is already in the process of renovating their athletic facilities. They have already built a new multi-purpose indoor practice facility (similar to Nutter), new baseball locker room and complex, and a complete renovation of their football complex. With the aforementioned upgrades, Vandy will be on the same level as other SEC schools and could find themselves back to where they were during the short-lived James Franklin era. By getting their facilties on par with the rest of the SEC, Vanderbilt will not have a hard time recruiting. Vandy recruits itself due to the upgraded facilities, a new stadium, a world class degree, playing in the SEC and the most important thing, living in Nashville. Because of all of this, i truly believe Vandy will become a surprise and rise to the top of the SEC (similar to how they are in baseball).

    The second thing about your article is that Vanderbilt and and MLS franchise cannot share a stadium. One of the requirements for an MLS franchise to come to Nashville is to have a stadium erected that is solely for soccer. Other sports can use the facility but it has to be designated for soccer. The reason for this is so that the city will fully dedicate themselves to bringing in a franchise, rather than just having them share a stadium.

    One last thing for the location of the stadium that no one seems to be discussing is Greer Stadium. Granted this would require the stadium to be “off-campus” but Greer would make the most sense. That piece of property already has the infrastructure to build a stadium on and has ample parking. If Vandy decides to move off campus, Greer is the way to go.


  3. Tej
    8:06 pm September 16, 2016 Permalink

    #2 makes good points. But, as a Sounds fan who attended many games at Greer, I must have missed the ample parking. I hate to see an off-campus stadium. I know there’s little, if any, space for a new stadium for Vandy. . Maybe a major renovation would be best. I’m a U.K. fan first but a solid Dores fan second.