Wednesday , May 29 2024

Major Upgrades Coming To Bulldog Stadium

FRESNO – It is conceived with a vision and is able to move forward with a backing of passion and commitment, Fresno State Director of Athletics Jim Bartko delivered Friday a credible blueprint as to how the Bulldogs intend to achieve the very highest standards from this point forward.
Bartko, on the job for six months as Fresno State’s top athletic administrator, presented an update on the department’s progress of the five-point vision he announced in late February.
The biggest take out of Friday’s presser was the introduction of renovation plans for Bulldog Stadium that will transcend the 35-year-old facility into a new era for Fresno State Athletics. The conceptual design Bartko revealed called for plans to improve all amenities, enhance the fan experience and modernize Bulldog Stadium where Fresno State has won over 77 percent of its games since it opened in 1980.
“This is three months of brainstorming what are the possibilities and coming up with a concept that all parties from the University, to the athletic department, football program and the Red Wave can be excited about,” Bartko said. “We will build Bulldog Stadium so it is a place for you and your families to go.”
This conceptual plan is a game changer.
To drive that point home, Bartko added that “it is not a matter of if or when this happens, it has to happen. We will do this together.”
The plans for the stadium overhaul were conceived by AECOM Sports, LLC in conjunction with athletic department officials over the past three months. Though that will be the largest project in terms of size and scope, it is not the only facility upgrade in Bartko’s five-point plan which further illustrates how serious Fresno State is about being the very best across the board and making the Valley proud.
Construction is currently taking place at the Spalding Wathen Tennis Center to give the facility new courts, the soccer and lacrosse programs are receiving renovated locker rooms, the basketball and volleyball facilities over at the Save Mart Center are undergoing a facelift and just recently completed over at the North Gym was the installation of the new practice court. Later on this summer, a new track will be going in at Warmerdam Field.
Across the board, branding efforts will take place to give all Fresno State facilities a fresh look infused with Bulldog pride. Staffing needs have started to be addressed within the department to help bolster the support the coaches and student-athletes need to succeed.
“We have great leadership here at the top with President Joseph Castro, a dedicated staff and student-athletes that make the Valley proud,” Bartko said. “Through a lot of people’s efforts, we are a lot further along today than we were in February. We have the right people in place here to make all of this come to fruition.”
The innovative conceptual design to Bulldog Stadium is expected to touch every customer, from the general admission ticket buyer, to the families, to the 15-year season ticket holder to the ones looking for the luxury amenities that should come with big-time football.
“This is an extremely exciting time for us in Bulldog football,” head coach Tim DeRuyter said. “The vision that Jim [Bartko] and AECOM laid out for the future of Bulldog football is tremendous. This is something that is going to be fantastic for all constituents – the Red Wave, alumni and in particular our future Bulldogs, the recruits we are going after. This shows a big-time commitment and greatly enhances the fan experience.
“When this is complete I anticipate this will be the best facility in the Mountain West and with our support from the Red Wave, it will help us solidify our reputation going into the future that Bulldog Stadium is the toughest place to play in the conference.”
Fresno State will address the accessibility issues with access tunnels built into the berm and a cross-sectional concourse at the midpoint of the bowl, making it easier for patrons to reach their seats.
Access to restrooms and concessions, and doubling the number of those facilities, is one key area that will improve the fan experience. To further enhance the game day atmosphere Fresno State will be making changes to the tailgating policies and open up hospitality opportunities in the stadium.
A new press box will be constructed and a new two-story football facility will go in the south end zone with a HD video board sitting on top of that.
At its core, the scope of this project is designed to transform Bulldog Stadium into the marquee landmark of not only the San Joaquin Valley, the California State University system, but give Fresno State the finest football facilities in the Mountain West.
The conceptual design is planned to take place in phases. The first step in that is already underway with the new HD video and ribbon board being installed in the north end zone this summer.
No price tag has been stamped on the project at this point, as it is in the baby stages. It should be noted that the Bulldogs will privately fund the entirety of the project and Athletics will work with the University procurement process and follow CSU System policies.
“It is early, like on Christmas morning when you get a new present but you haven’t put it together yet,” Bartko said. “Now we have to dig in over the next year, finalize all the specifics and work to bring this all to fruition.”

AECOM is a premier, fully integrated professional and technical services firm positioned to design, build, finance and operate infrastructure assets around the world for public- and private-sector clients. With nearly 100,000 employees — including architects, engineers, designers, planners, scientists and management and construction services professionals — serving clients in over 150 countries around the world, AECOM is ranked as the #1 engineering design firm by revenue in Engineering News-Record magazine’s annual industry rankings, and has been recognized by Fortune magazine as a World’s Most Admired Company. The firm is a leader in all of the key markets that it serves, including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, oil and gas, water, high-rise buildings and government. AECOM provides a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation and technical excellence in delivering customized and creative solutions that meet the needs of clients’ projects. A Fortune 500 firm, AECOM companies, including URS Corporation and Hunt Construction Group, had revenue of approximately $ 19 billion during the 12 months ended March 31, 2015.
About Bulldog Stadium

First opened in 1980, the original Bulldog Stadium footprint began construction in June of 1979 for the then 30,000-seat stadium at the price tag of $ 7 million that was completely privately funded. Fresno State played its first game in Bulldog Stadium on Nov. 25, 1980, a 21-14 win over Montana State. In 1991 Bulldog Stadium underwent a two-phase expansion, which included the addition of more than 10,000 seats – increasing the stadiums capacity to 41,031 — and the construction of 22 sky suites to go with additional restrooms and concession facilities.
Bulldog Stadium played host to the California Raisin Bowl from 1981-91 and it also hosted friendly matches prior to the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
The Bulldogs have gone 165-47-2 (.771) at Bulldog Stadium playing in front of an average crowd of 34,127 over the last 35 full seasons in the stadium. Fresno State has led the Mountain West in attendance in each of the past two seasons and has gone 17-2 at home under head coach Tim DeRuyter.
–Fresno State Athletic Communications

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