Jon Mark Beilue: Stadium tidbits

 

May 30, 2019

Buffalo Stadium: This and That

  1. The playing surface of Buffalo Stadium is 15 feet underground, which required tons of dirt to be moved when initial construction began in May 2018.
     
  2. The iconic white buffalo statue on the west side of Kimbrough Memorial Stadium and visible along the Canyon E-Way was removed in the spring. It will be repositioned on the south end of Buffalo Stadium in a dedication in August.
     
  3. ELR Architects designed the stadium. Western Builders is responsible for the construction. It’s been a busy 18 months for the Amarillo company, which also was responsible for the building of Hodgetown, the downtown Amarillo home of the baseball Sod Poodles. “They are so good,” McBroom said. “They are very conscientious. They get the vision. They want this to be as good as we do. They take an extra sense of ownership. I can’t say enough good things about them.”
     
  4. Parking is always a sticking point with fans, and McBroom said there will be more parking at the stadium than at Kimbrough. There are 1,800 spots at Kimbrough, and roughly 2,000 spots will be used for new stadium parking, all of those within at least a half-mile. Parking at the First United Bank Center, the basketball arena, could also be used to bring parking to about 3,000. That is .8 of a mile from the stadium and could involve a shuttle to the game.
     
  5. As for restrooms, they will be located in each corner of the stadium. “Our capacity is half of Kimbrough,” McBroom said, “and we’ll have twice as many restrooms. No one will ever be more than 50 yards from a restroom.” Concessions, also scattered around the stadium, will take on a local flavor with the 1910 Grill, which gets its meat from the university meat lab, Eade’s, and street tacos.
     
  6. Stadium lights will have three times the power of those at Kimbrough, McBroom said. “They are ESPN-caliber lights,” he said.
     
  7. There will be retaining walls on the south, east and west sides, but not the north. The back of the north side end zone is the season ticket for Thunder, the buffalo, and its handlers. “Should something ever go wrong,” McBroom said, “we didn’t want the possibility of pinning a handler to the wall.”
     
  8. When voting to approve increased student funds to finance the stadium, students also voted on the name. Buffalo Stadium won with 445 votes, topping Thunder Stadium (360) and Stomping Grounds (288). From 1959 until 1971, Kimbrough was known as Buffalo Bowl. "What about the possibility of a corporate naming rights to the stadium? “We’d be OK with that,” McBroom said, “as long as ‘Buffalo’ were still in the name.”
     
  9. There will be 240 yards of ribbon video board – 120 yards along the east and west sides. “It creates a cleaner stadium look,” McBroom said. “There’s not a lot of banners and other signs cluttering it up.”
     
  10.  WT will seek to host high school playoff games at Buffalo Stadium in 2019. In 2020, plans are to host a local high school game on Friday on each of the 11 regular-season playing dates.

—WTAMU—


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