For the 2015 season, we have no new college football stadiums as the overlying theme this season is a growing reversal from the last few decades. Instead of increasing capacity, Universities are now removing seats in favor of adding club sections and higher-priced perks. It always boils down to making money and schools are seeing more bang for their buck by adding the specialty areas instead of just selling more seats. Of course, this is happening everywhere. The most significant stadium renovations debuted this season are at Kentucky, Mississippi, Duke and Cincinnati. The Bearcats, in fact, didn’t even play in Nippert Stadium as the overhaul meant a season shared with the Bengals at Paul Brown. But they are back on-campus this year. Other notes include the bizarre fiasco at UAB, where they dropped football, then a few weeks later reinstated the sport and now will wait to come back for a few years while this all gets sorted out, maybe. At the FBS level, we have the opposite as East Tennessee State is revived after the program was cut in 2003. Their introductory period begins at a high school stadium (Kermit Tipton) in Johnson City before their new stadium is completed in 2017. Also, Kennesaw State begins their inaugural football season in the Big South. They will play out of Fifth Third Bank Stadium, a place originally built a few years ago solely for soccer.
In the NFL, Miami is in the middle of a two-year renovation to Sun Life Stadium. This is the second nine-figure remodel to the facility in the last eight years, which is mind-blowing (at least the owner funded this version). The most interesting aspect of the renovation will be the creation of living room “pods” in the prime lower bowl seats. The four-person box will be created with a home feel as it includes TVs. Sun Life Stadium will be a completely different facility, one that will personify professional sports in the 2000s. Also of note, the Titans’ home has seen a name change to Nissan Stadium.