Big 12 News

Consultant Recommends Kansas Football Reduce Stadium Capacity

NCAA Football: South Dakota at Kansas

Kansas has major plans to turn the area surrounding David Booth Memorial Stadium into a hub for fans to enjoy gamedays, but it might require a bit of sacrifice to the in-game experience.

According to, an outside consultant hired by the University of Kansas is recommending a 55,000-square-foot conference center, a 175-room upscale hotel, and even a 2,500-seat concert and event venue for the stadium site near 11th and Mississippi streets on the northern edge of the KU campus.

However, the firm is also recommending that KU shrink the size of David Booth Memorial Stadium to 39,839 seats, a drop of a little more than 7,000 seats from the stadium’s current official capacity.


Here’s an excerpt from that unveils some of the details of the proposed project:

The consultant’s recommendations also show the entire surface parking lot and grassy area immediately east of the stadium — a prime location for both parking and game day tailgating — eliminated as part of the new development. The consultant’s recommendations acknowledge KU will need new parking solutions, but the consultants said those solutions still must be determined. Construction of new parking garages on campus are likely to get consideration, a KU official said.

The plans are not final, but they are important because the consultant’s recommendations are included in a package of materials KU is distributing to companies who will bid to become the master developer for the KU gateway project, and also for companies bidding to become the new operator of the football stadium, conference center and entertainment venue. KU began soliciting proposals from developers and operators on Thursday.

A KU spokeswoman said the university is open to the idea of decreasing the seating capacity of the stadium because leaders are confident that improvements to the stadium — which will be extensive and include an increase in premium-seating areas — will make for a much better fan experience.


There is even more on the project with several key details about the new proposed stadium. Here are a couple of them, with still a great amount more at

  • Improvements to the football stadium would include increased premium-seating options, new chairback seating to replace bleacher-style seats, new restrooms and concession areas, additional concourses, new scoreboards and other amenities. The plans call for more than 2,500 “club seats,” which would be a type of premium seating that would include additional services — perhaps concessions and other amenities — as part of their ticket. The plans also call for about 55 new suite-level seats in the stadium.
  • At just under 40,000 seats, the renovated stadium would be the smallest in terms of seating capacity in the current Big 12. The next smallest would be Baylor’s stadium at 45,140 seats. The renovated KU stadium also would be the smallest in the new Big 12, although the stadium at Houston and Cincinnati would only be a few hundred seats larger than the KU proposal.

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