By Jeff Shearer
AUBURN, Ala. - Interior images from the upcoming enhancement of Jordan-Hare Stadium reveal the "wow factor" Jay Jacobs envisioned.
"It will be the best of the best," said Jacobs, Auburn's Director of Athletics. "It will be the gold standard in college athletics recruiting."
Jacobs wants the recruiting space to tell the story of Auburn's vision, history and passion.
"When you step into this new recruiting area, it's going to be impressive, unlike anything any of these prospective student-athletes have seen," Jacobs said. "It's going to be first class. It's going to represent excellence.
"That's our vision. We want to demonstrate excellence. We work on that every day. We've been successful in achieving that, but you have to keep working at it every day.
"We want them to see the history of Auburn. We want them to fully embrace what makes Auburn such a special place. From the Auburn Creed to the Auburn Family, we're going to showcase our people and our traditions. That's what makes Auburn so unique.
"We want them to see the passion of Auburn Athletics. The three Heisman Trophy winners, the Outland Trophy and Thorpe Award winners. Tiger Walk, the rolling of Toomer's Corner, the eagle flight. We want to bring all of that together because these prospects are here for maybe eight hours. We have to communicate a lot."
In addition to a recruiting area, the project, in the stadium's southwest corner, will nearly double the size of Auburn's locker rooms. Recruiting space for Auburn's Olympic sports will also double.
"Your treasure is where your heart is, and we treasure our student-athletes, and our prospective student-athletes," Jacobs said. "We want to demonstrate excellence in everything we do because we expect excellence from them. And they should expect nothing less from us."
Above the recruiting area will be two levels of club amenities, with the relocated press box atop them.
"We were recently named the No. 1 school in the SEC with the gameday experience for football," Jacobs said. "We have to keep doing things every day, every year to make sure we stay on top.
"This club level creates an amenity for our fans to enjoy. It will enhance the gameday experience for everyone."
Jacobs says the new fan space, with a capacity of 800, will be open before and after games
"It will be a place of community for the Auburn Family on Saturdays before games," he said. "And a time of celebration postgame.
"We're going to keep bringing the amenities to our fans because they deserve nothing less. Their commitment means the world to us. We want it to be a first-class experience.
"It will be a phenomenal facility, not only on Saturday, but will be able to be used throughout the year for a host of different banquets and events. It's going to add so much to our gameday experience and also to the exterior of our stadium."
Jacobs said donors have already given 30 percent of the $28 million project, scheduled to be completed before the 2018 football season.
Auburn University's Board of Trustees approved the project in February. Construction will begin after bids are submitted and a builder is selected.
"The Auburn people, our loyal donors, they know the positive impact of this," Jacobs said. "They know what this means to Auburn."
Jeff Shearer is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @jeff_shearer