AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs has long talked about the importance of providing an exceptional football gameday experience and recruiting at the highest level.
Those are just two reasons Jacobs believes it's time for Auburn to move forward with renovations to Jordan-Hare Stadium. But there's one critical question Jacobs wants answered: How much support exists among Auburn football donors, supporters and fans for what could be a major renovation to the North End Zone?
That's why Tigers Unlimited, the fundraising and donor services arm of Auburn Athletics, is putting a survey in the field to donors in select areas of the stadium. It's all part of Athletics' carefully crafted feasibility study to gauge the level of interest and potential for support.
"Before we move forward and ask for approval on such a major project, it's vitally important for us to reach out to the Auburn Family," Jacobs said. "This survey is critical because it will help us determine the level of interest and support for a potential renovation to Jordan-Hare Stadium. The level of interest and support in a major stadium renovation must be substantial for it to be feasible."
Goals for the project include generating more space for fan amenities such as additional concessions and restroom facilities, elevators and escalators, a North End Zone video board, an on-site kitchen and better sightlines to the field. It also would address outdated locker room and recruiting space for the Auburn football team. Another important aspect of the project would be the creation of additional premium seating options for Tigers Unlimited donors, which has been a frequent request made by donors in past surveys.
"We know it's important to continue to improve the gameday experience, and that's why it's been a focus of mine for years now." Jacobs said. "We know our fans and donors want more amenities such as more premium seating options but also other amenities that all of our fans will benefit from."
Jacobs also said it's important for recruiting...and not just athletes.
"This is about the gameday recruiting experience as well," Jacobs said. "That impacts all of our sports and our entire university, not just football. We have hundreds of prospective student-athletes for many sports here on any given Saturday. A lot of their first impressions of Auburn and who we are come from their experience at Jordan-Hare Stadium."
The Athletics Department has worked with contractors and engineers over the past year to create preliminary plans that would expand the North End Zone concourse and create continuous walkways throughout the entire stadium.
Surveys that will soon hit email inboxes will include images and renderings of the potential areas included in the scope of the project, giving a more detailed visual of the potential renovation. Jacobs said it's important to remember they are only renderings and the project is still in the preliminary stages. All plans would need to be approved by the Board of Trustees. The Athletics Department will only seek approval if there is significant interest by the Auburn Family.
"Nothing has been approved and nothing is final," Jacobs said. "We are sharing the renderings with donors so they can see the vision of what the North End Zone could be."
Fans who sit in the North End Zone will see that their seats could be impacted by the potential renovation. The Athletics Department has set up an email address and web page to take in all feedback from those fans affected.
"We want their input and feedback, and I encourage them to offer it," Jacobs said. "Fan and donor feedback has driven a lot of what we've done with the gameday experience that has proven to be popular and helped make Auburn's gameday experience the best in the nation."
The survey is being sent to approximately 5,000 Tigers Unlimited accounts. Fans wishing to provide feedback can do so by emailing JHSRenovation@auburn.edu or visit the website here.