Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb., where the Nebraska team plays...

Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb., where the Nebraska team plays NCAA college football, is seen in an undated image. The proposed massive renovation of Memorial Stadium has been downsized for the time being, meaning the south end of the stadium won't be torn down after the 2024 season as originally planned, new athletic director Troy Dannen said in a statement Friday, May 17, 2024. Credit: AP/Chris Machian

LINCOLN, Neb. — The proposed massive renovation of Nebraska's Memorial Stadium has been downsized for the time being, meaning the south end of the stadium won't be torn down after the 2024 season as originally planned, athletic director Troy Dannen said in a statement Friday.

Former athletic director Trev Alberts in 2022 announced an estimated $450 million project to update the 100-year-old stadium. The first phase would have temporarily removed nearly 25,000 seats for the 2025 season while a new south-end section was built.

Dannen's revised plan would address the east and west sides of the stadium, and work would begin no sooner than after the 2025 season. Bleacher seating would be replaced with chairbacks in some, if not all, sections and other amenities would be added. Renovations on the south end are in the long-range plan but there is no timetable.

“We are all aligned on the need to modernize our aging stadium," Dannen said. “But as we have said, any work we do needs to follow our guiding principles. First, it needs to help us win. Second, it needs to advance our goals for acquisition and retention of talent. Third, and equally importantly, it must preserve our financial stability — one of the greatest assets of Husker Athletics.”

A comprehensive funding plan has not been announced, though Alberts said he expected private dollars would be used for a substantial portion of the project.

Athletic department budget projections are in a holding pattern with the NCAA and major college conferences considering a possible settlement of an antitrust lawsuit. The proposed settlement of House vs. the NCAA would require Power Five schools to spend $20 million per year on athlete compensation.

The Cornhuskers have played in Memorial Stadium since 1923 and incremental improvements have been made over the years, including luxury suites in 1999 and an expansion to more than 85,000 seats in 2013.

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