BYU is going through the regular prep for holding a season opener such as making sure the field is immaculate, running through the scoreboard program and cleaning up the grounds around LaVell Edwards Stadium.
But there is a little extra buzz going on too as workers put the finishing touches on a stadium renovation meant to enhance the game experience for fans.
Fans attending Thursday’s game against Utah will notice there is a better traffic flow around the mezzanine level of the stadium since the four seating sections are now connected.
Duff Tittle, BYU’s associate athletic director for communications, gave media members a tour of the renovations on Wednesday.
There are tentative plans to add tables and phone charging stations and host food carts in the corner sections, but those are on hold until BYU personnel get to evaluate how the space is used by fans, Tittle said.
“We want to make this fan friendly,” he said.
All told, the renovation added about 75,000 square feet of new concourse and ramps as well as a large staircase in the southwest corner. There are 216 new bathroom fixtures, including 144 for women and four family-friendly restrooms.
Last year, BYU became the first college football program in the country to implement a full-stadium WIFI option like the ones offered by some NFL programs.
One addition that will surely be welcomed is the addition of more restrooms in the north and south sections.
LaVell Edwards Stadium has gone through several renovations since it originally opened in 1964 with a seating capacity of 45,000.
In 1982, BYU added stands to the north and south end zones bringing the capacity to over 65,000 and lowered the field eight feet and removed the track.
In 2003, BYU added its “club seating” to the east stands and in 2010 and 2011 created additional wheelchair access that left the stadium at its current capacity.