When Duke completed its horseshoe-shaped football stadium in 1929, it was the finest football facility in the South. It remained the largest and most impressive stadium in the state of North Carolina for almost four decades.
But that facility – now known as Wallace Wade Stadium – is still in use more than 80 years later and in the second decade of the 21st Century, it's no longer a showplace for the university. Wade is not alone – Cameron Indoor Stadium, while perhaps the most storied college basketball facility in the country, needs to become more fan-friendly. Olympic sports facilities also need upgrades. The athletic department needs more revenue for salaries and scholarships in order to continue competing at the highest level.
Duke is about to address that situation, embarking on the largest fund-raising campaign in its history to bring the university to the cutting edge in both facilities and financial support. Duke Athletics has raised approx. $250 million, as part of the university-wide $3.25 billion campaign Duke Forward.
The plan encompasses a number of major projects:
-- TRACK AND FIELD: The first stage will be building a new track stadium, alongside Koskinen Stadium, which currently hosts the school's soccer and lacrosse teams. The stadium will include a new state-of-the-art track, brick grandstands and an infield with sport-specific throwing lines. In addition, a new press box, the Chris and Ana Kennedy Tower, will be constructed between Koskinen and the track stadium to serve both facilities.
-- FOOTBALL: Moving the track opens the door for the first stage of Wallace Wade's transformation. The track that circles the field will be removed and the field will be lowered. The stands will be extended closer to the field. At the same time, the press box will be demolished (with Duke Sports Medicine, which shares the facility, moving to a new location) and replaced with a new tower that will include premium club seating, lodges and suites.
Also on tap is a new pedestrian plaza connecting Wade, Cameron and the Yoh Center. It will serve as a grand entrance to both the football and basketball stadiums. As part of the project, Duke will construct – adjacent to the Murray Building – a three-level pavilion that will feature new ticket offices and a team store for the public, offices for the athletic department, new training rooms, and a weight room for Olympic sport student-athletes.
The work on Wallace Wade Stadium ought to emphasize the university's commitment to football. Actually, the program has received considerable support in the last few years – such as the Brooks Family Practice Field and Football Building and the Pascal Field House.
When the stadium projects are finished, a new five-story, 90,000-plus square foot tower to replace the Finch-Yeager Building will include six different concession booths and restrooms on the main concourse level. The second floor will contain a 300-plus seating dining room, exterior club accommodations and six luxury suites. The third level will house 15 additional luxury suites as well as the President's box. The fourth floor will provide space for media, home and visiting coaches, broadcast and gameday operations with additional video filming space located on the roof.
Duke has partnered with Daktronics for the implementation of a new LED video board in the south end zone. The board's viewing surface will measure 42 feet high by 75.6 feet wide for 3,175 square feet – more than doubling the previous video board – and display at a true 1080P high definition resolution.
Concourse enhancements also include guest services and first aid stations, truly integrated ADA and companion seating balconies, a new stair and elevator tower, new exposed black aggregate paving around the concourse, enriched lighting along the interior and exterior of the concourse, and nine new sections of blue seats, replacing existing bleachers.