NORMAL — As the new east side of Hancock Stadium continues to rise, Illinois State director of athletics Gary Friedman believes the interest in Redbird football is doing the same.
As proof, Friedman offers the fact all five available suites have been leased on five-year contracts beginning with the upcoming season.
And, approximately 410 of 500 club seats have already been purchased.
“People have been jumping aboard. The success of the football team has initiated a lot of excitement,” Friedman said. “Those folks have all bought into a vision. When they actually walk through there and are physically a part of it and see the sightlines, they are going to be so thrilled with their investment.”
Hancock Stadium will have seven club suites. One will be for the university president and one for the director of athletics.
“We have roughly 90 (club) seats left. We encourage folks to consider them,” said Friedman. “For two seats with all gifts involved is $1,400 annually. That includes the initial gift that goes toward the stadium payable over a five-year period, annual seat donation and season ticket cost. And a large majority of that is considered a donation.”
Those in suites and club seats will have access to a club area with separate concession and restroom facilities.
“It’s going to be the most social area in Bloomington-Normal on game days,” Friedman said. “It will be a place business people can do business, interact and meet folks.”
The level above the club area will house media and game day operations.
Friedman said construction is on pace for the Sept. 21 home opener.
“We are very optimistic and confident it will be ready to go Sept 21,” he said. “Vissering Construction is doing a great job. They are very organized. They meet with university staff every couple weeks.”
The enhanced stadium will seat approximately 13,000, but a final capacity will not be known until seats are installed.
“Our goal is to fill it every game and go from there,” said Friedman. “Demand will determine future expansions.”
According to Friedman, anyone interested in donating to the Hancock Stadium project should contact the Weisbecker Scholarship Fund office at 309 438-3803.