Ben Hill Griffin Stadium revamp plans


Renovation of The Swamp Image: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Rudi Riet, CC BY-SA 2.0

‘The Swamp’ is getting a revamp.

‘USA TODAY’ stated that the University of Florida announced on July 3rd that it will renovate the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida (US) – its football home for more than 90 years – and is currently looking for an architect for the project.

The 88,548-capacity Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, popularly known as ‘The Swamp’, is a football stadium on the campus of the University of Florida in Gainesville (US) and is the home field of the Florida Gators football team.

The Florida Gators football program represents the University of Florida in American college football. Florida competes in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Eastern Division of the Southeastern Conference.

Indianapolis, Indiana (US)-based the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a nonprofit organization that regulates student-athletics among about 1,100 schools in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and United States Virgin Islands.

The NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), formerly known as Division I-A, is the highest level of college football in the United States. The FBS consists of the largest schools in the National Collegiate Athletic Association. As of the 2023 season, there are 10 Conferences and 133 schools in the FBS.

Birmingham, Alabama (US)-based the Southeastern Conference is an American college athletic Conference whose member-institutions are located primarily in the South Central and Southeastern United States.

The University of Florida is a public land-grant research university in Gainesville, Florida (US). It is a senior member of the State University System of Florida. The University traces its origins to 1853 and has operated continuously on its Gainesville campus since September 1906.

Scott Stricklin, Florida Athletic Director, said in a statement, “We’ve conducted a number of studies over the last five-plus years about what the future could look like for the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. We’ve engaged with vendors that specialize in iconic venues and stadium experience for both fans and players while offering a variety of solutions. It is now time to take that information and engage with an architect who can present renovation, construction and phasing options for ‘The Swamp’.”

Proposed Renovation

‘USA TODAY’ further stated that the proposed renovation, which the Athletic Department says will be the largest facility project in its history, will be delivered by the selected architect. The selection process is set to begin this month.

Florida said the project will “touch every phase” of the fan experience, including improvements to its concourse, seating, entry gates, concessions, restrooms, videoboard, and the sound system. The University estimates the beginning cost will be $400 million, and will use an “aggressive fundraising campaign” to secure funds.

But Stricklin said it’s “premature to speculate” on the final cost as well as the seating capacity and the timeline for the project. The stadium’s current seating capacity is 88,548.

Added Stricklin, “We look forward to working along with an architect that will start providing options on what those answers could look like and allow us to continue to host college football’s biggest and best fans in ‘The Swamp’.”

Built in 1930 with an initial capacity of 21,769, the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium is the largest stadium in Florida. The Gators are 355-113-13 at ‘The Swamp’.

It was last renovated prior to the 2012 season with upgrades made to the West concourse.

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