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Stadium expansion cut back, new arena club seats on sale

Tom Jurich announced at a press conference yesterday that the planned expansion of Papa John's Cardinal Stadium has been downsized from an addition of 20,000 seats to an addition of 14,500 seats (for a capacity of 56,500).

Jurich blamed the scale back on a one year delay caused by the Kentucky General Assembly's reluctance to approve the project. According to Jurich, the delay caused the overall cost of the project to jump by a minimum of $10 million.

"We're going to have to cut some things out because of that budget increase," Jurich said. "By us sitting that one year without approval, it went up a minimum of $10 million. We won't know until those (construction) bids come back on July 17.

"We're probably going to have to take the seats down in the upper deck. We're looking at 56,500 maybe. We're hoping that will help suffice."

Construction is expected to start in August, and the first game in the expanded stadium would be the 2010 season opener against Kentucky. Jurich stressed that the changes would not affect U of L's goals of increasing the number of suites and adding 2,000 more club seats and a club section.

I'm not one to go against or not stalk Tom Jurich, but there's a small, shrill voice in my head that says an extra $10 million would have been produced had last season lived up to expectations and three of the home games not featured mass second half exoduses. But whatever, in '99 the voice also said Josh Heupel would someday be viewed with the same reverence as Montana and Namath.

The news was much better for really rich people - presumably unaffected by the decreased expansion (oxymoron!) - as Jurich also announced that the athletic department is now selling 2,000 premium club seats for the new downtown arena, which is still scheduled to open in November of 2010 (Completely related note: How much are you dreading having to say "twenty eleven" all the time in three years? And it's not like the rest of years in the decade are going to roll off the tongue. I guess the "twenty twenty" decade is the proverbial candy at the end of the sewer...Solomon).

Club seat holders will have premium parking privileges, access to an exclusive lounge, the first opportunity to purchase tickets to other arena events, the right to spit on any non-club seat holders, an undisclosed amount of stock in Valero Energy, 10-minute Walter McCarty concerts during halftime, a Frank Zappa CD, and a personal teleporter so they can leave any game early without being heckled.

I hate anything I'm not...except puppies...and Bagel Bites.