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ASU has new plan for renovating Sun Devil Stadium

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PHOENIX (AP)

Arizona State University's president announced a $50 million fundraising campaign Tuesday to help pay for the school stadium's multimillion-dollar renovation.

President Michael Crow gave a group of potential donors a first glimpse of renderings of what the new Sun Devil Stadium will look like.

''This plan gives ASU an opportunity to increase our investment in the community and to set the standard for collegiate athletics facilities,'' Crow said.

Work planned for Sun Devil Stadium located on ASU's Tempe campus includes adding a terrace pavilion, a double-sided video board, a new student section and escalators, but a proposed shade canopy has been dropped. The Tillman Tunnel, where the Sun Devil players enter the field, will stay.

''This venue will blend tradition with all the elements of a top-tier facility and put us at the top of the league,'' ASU football coach Todd Graham said.

Once the Arizona Board of Regents approves the $225 million project, the work is expected to begin in the spring of 2015 and be finished by mid-2017.

Crow says ASU will play its home football games at Sun Devil Stadium during construction rather than at Chase Field in Phoenix as once proposed.

The Arizona Republic (http://bit.ly/1d5l0vq ) reports other revenue sources include revenue from naming rights, stadium operations and a new athletic-facilities district now being developed. No taxpayer money will go into the project, school officials said.

In a separate project, the removal of 5,700 seats in the upper north end zone will begin in February. As a result, the refurbished stadium will have a seating capacity 60,000, a drop from the current 71,706.

The remodeling has been in the works for nearly two years. ASU officials have made an effort to get feedback from fans and focus groups. Public feedback included dismissing the idea of a canopy in order to have an unobstructed view of fireworks after touchdowns. Fans also rated seat comfort, restrooms and concessions above having shade.

The stadium, which opened in 1958, last underwent a renovation in 1988.

''Sun Devil Stadium should be a place where champions reside. We should put all of our efforts in to making Sun Devil Stadium a very special place,'' Graham said.

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Information from: The Arizona Republic, http://www.azcentral.com

Tagged: Arizona

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