UT Regents to consider 'completing the bowl' at DKR stadium

Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium, an Austin icon since Thanksgiving Day 1924.  

Obviously it hasn't always been named after the legendary coach but it has been home to the Longhorns through renovation after renovation. And another major facelift may be on the horizon.

"Everything factors into winning and losing.  Everything.  And this is just one piece that we're really excited about," said Longhorns head coach Tom Herman.

The UT System Board of Regents is considering a $175 million South End Zone addition and stadium renovation.  According to the regent's agenda, we're talking new suites, clubs, coaches offices.

And most notably, according to the agenda -- that new south end will complete the stadium bowl. "The neat thing about that project is it serves multiple purposes.  It improves our gameday atmosphere, it is exciting for the fans and allows our stadium you know to be...at least the initial plans that I saw, to be bowled in," Herman said. 

Rod Babers, host of the RODcast on 104.9 "The Horn" played for UT from '99-2002.  He doesn't like the term "former" Longhorn.  "Lifetime" is how he describes his status.

"I'm not a legendary lifetime Longhorn, I'm not Earl Campbell, I don't have a statue!  But I am a lifetime Longhorn no doubt about it," Babers said.

Babers says the "bowl" vision has been around for some time.

"Mack Brown was actually selling that vision to us when he recruited me in 1999 and not that that wasn't something that he wasn't going to fulfill but I think now 20 years later we're basically seeing that vision come to fruition," Babers said.  

He feels like it will be a recruiting pitch for Coach Tom Herman too.

"You're going to play in front of the largest capacity crowd in the southwestern United States of America and I remember those recruiting pitches they were that good from Mack Brown, I think they'll be the same way for Tom Herman," Babers said.

Coach Herman was asked about the renovation plans on Wednesday.

"More importantly to me, and to us as a football team it gives us a facility that should be unrivaled in the country, something that has been needed around here for a while and we feel like that the University of Texas, our players deserve the best," Herman said.  

Also this week the Austin City Council is considering a deal that could bring a Major League Soccer stadium to north Austin.  And last week a United Soccer League stadium was announced for Circuit of the Americas.  Babers says people are figuring out Austin is a sports hub.

"I think people realize 'hey man let's go there for sports too along with the music, along with the tech along with the movies'...Austin is the place to be.  That's why I haven't moved yet," Babers said.

Chuck Harris, Executive Director of the Texas Exes tells Fox 7 in a statement "The stadium is a huge symbol of pride for our alumni.  It's the one place that brings us all back together.  We look at anything that enhances that experience as a positive thing."

A representative for UT Athletics couldn't provide us with an updated stadium rendering or even discuss the plans until the regents approve.  The item is being discussed at the regents meeting on Thursday.

If approved the project will be done summer of 2021.

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