Team picked to revamp Florida ‘Swamp’


Crawford and Gensler to redevelop The Swamp Image: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Rudi Riet, CC BY-SA 2.0

University of Florida Athletics has picked Crawford Architects in association with Gensler to develop renovation, construction and phasing options for the revamp of the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, otherwise known as ‘The Swamp.’

The Gainesville Sun said the goal of the latest renovation to the home of Florida Gators football is to modernize the fan experience while maintaining many of the traditional elements, atmosphere and capacity.

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.

Built in 1930, The Swamp, located on the campus of the University of Florida in Gainesville, has expanded from 22,000 to its current capacity of close to 90,000 in prior renovations.

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

New changes will come in upgrading seating, concourse layouts, entry gates, bathrooms and concessions. The sound system and video board will also be refurbished.

While the architectural team will deliver the specifics, the project will touch every phase of the fan experience and there will be a focus on maintaining the nearly century-long romance Gator fans have with Saturdays in the Swamp.

Financial estimates for the project, which will adhere to university policies and procedures during all phases, begin at approximately $400 million.

The financial model will be similar to previous Gator facility projects with an aggressive fundraising campaign to anchor the funding efforts.

The Gainesville Sun further stated that founded in 2001, Kansas City, Mo.-based Crawford Architects has a portfolio of historic renovation projects across the United States, including sports facility design.

Its past projects include the 68,000-seat Lumen Field (home of the Seattle Seahawks), the Minnesota Vikings training facility, Pegula Ice Arena (home to Penn State’s hockey team) and the Green Monster seating expansion project at Fenway Park in Boston.

David Murphy, owner, and senior principal with Crawford Architects, said, “The Crawford Architects Team is honored by this selection and look forward to collaborating with the University of Florida on this transformational project. The Swamp is one of, if not the most iconic stadium in football. The building and its unique features offer a wealth of ‘design assets’ that the Crawford Team will draw on to create an enhanced game-day experience.”

Gensler is a global architecture, design, and planning firm with 53 locations and more than 7,000 professionals networked across the Americas, Europe, Greater China, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East.

In July, Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin said it would be “premature” to speculate whether seating capacity would be reduced as the result of the renovation.

He said: “We are looking forward to working alongside the design team on this historic venture. The coming months will provide specifics on what improvements fans can look forward to, along with details on timeline and costs for the project.”

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