Documents Reveal Big Changes at Allen Fieldhouse 🚜

What you need to know

  • 🚨 Allen Fieldhouse Capacity Reduction 

  • 🤔 Your turn: Let me know what you think!

  • 🔒 Hearing: Staffing changes for KU Hoops

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EVERYTHING IN THIS NEWSLETTER IS BASED UPON WHAT I AM HEARING FROM PEOPLE I TRUST. PLEASE DO NOT MISTAKE THIS FOR FACT OR FOR ACTUAL JOURNALISM, WHICH HAS VERIFICATION STANDARDS THAT I HAVE NOT ADHERED TO. I DO NOT GUARANTEE THE ACCURACY OF THE CONTENT.

Major Fieldhouse Changes Coming

First: KU football landed four-star OT Juju Marks out of Olathe on Sunday. I’ll have more to come on KU football later this week. Check out Marks’ 247Sports profile here. 

Onto the scoop…

I’m Hearing that capacity at Allen Fieldhouse is expected to shrink as part of the $~50M renovation project finishing this offseason.

Yes, 16,300 may be in jeopardy. And I think that’s OK (See the section below).

The seats are expected to be replaced by at least two video boards in the upper corners (I’m not sure if it’s all four), as reflected in construction planning documents obtained by KUHearings via a 2023 open records request.

The documents also show the upper corners will house mechanical rooms responsible for HVAC, or air conditioning. They also show additional chairback seating, allowing both sides to mirror each other.

2023 Allen Fieldhouse Demolition Plan Obtained by KUHearings.

These changes are part of a broader effort to modernize the Fieldhouse while maintaining its historic charm. Some notable changes include:

  • The video boards appear roughly scoped at 12 feet tall by 24 feet wide. You can see the idea in the images below.

The corner video boards as if you are looking directly at it.

The corner video boards as if you are looking from the side.

  • While the planning documents could technically change, the first construction images seem to reflect the plans. Travis Goff shared this photo of the massive new center scoreboard going in (it looks great).

  • In the image, you can also see a lack of bleachers in the upper corner.

  • I’ve Heard the existing chairback seats will get upgraded.

  • The concourse will get new finishes.

  • There will be new bathrooms and concessions, along with expanded suite/hospitality areas.

  • And, yes, the plans call for upgraded Wi-Fi, too.

KU first shared details and images of the renovation plans in March, 2023. You can see the announcement and renderings here.

Please pass this along to any friends and family who you think might enjoy this. Copy and paste the shareable link here or use the email forward link below. Thanks!

I’m OK with it. What about you?

This Hearing isn’t entirely new. I first wrote about it early last summer ().

I stand by my take from the first story: I support the change from KU.

It hasn’t hit yet, but schools are about to hit a major revenue crunch if NIL changes go through, allowing schools to directly pay its players. Washington is expecting an additional $30M in costs from this, as an example.

The video boards will improve the fan experience — and bring in much-needed revenue as premium advertising real estate.

And — I hate to say it — but those upper corners haven’t exactly been a hot ticket the last few years. If you’ve gone to games, you know what I’m talking about…

If Bill Self is OK with it (and I believe he is), then I am too. I wrote the following last year:

“As long as KU is protecting the soul of the building, then I’m understanding of these changes. I believe that thought is at the forefront of these extensive renovations.”

I know you may feel different. And I get that. Let me know what you think below 👇

What do you think?

Are you OK with removing two upper corners for video boards?

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I’m Hearing a familiar face and name is coming back to KU.

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