There’s a food court and, potentially, a sports bar coming to Tiger Stadium.
LSU plans to erect such a facility in the space once occupied by the south end zone dormitories, school officials said Monday from the Tiger Athletics Foundation’s Tiger Tour stop in Baton Rouge.
The dormitories are nearly completely demolished, deputy director of athletics Eddie Nunez said, making room for what athletic director Joe Alleva described as a “food court” and “sports bar situation.”
“We knocked down the dorms of the south end zone in Tiger Stadium. It creates an enormous amount of space down there,” Alleva told the crowd Monday night. “We’ll be able to create a food court and sell things down there. For lack of a better word, it will be kind of a sports bar situation. Big screen TVs. It will be a restricted area where you have to stay in there. You won’t be able to leave.”
The project won't be completed this season, Nunez said.
The area could eventually serve as a place where beer is sold to the general public, Alleva said. Alcohol sales in general seating areas of stadiums and arenas are banned by the Southeastern Conference, a policy that officials believe will be revisited at the spring meetings in Destin, Florida, later this month.
Alleva is “hopeful” the policy will change, but “it’s the presidents’ decision, not an athletic directors’ decision,” he said. The 14 league presidents would have to vote on the proposal.
Alcohol sales at SEC facilities have been a long-talked-about issue. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in April that be believes there are “imperfections” in the current policy banning stadium-wide alcohol sales and is expecting the league to review the rule soon.
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For now, alcohol sales are only allowed in premium seating areas, including suites and club levels. Alleva has lobbied for stadium-wide beer sales, saying Monday that it will “enhance the fan experience.”
The sale of beer and wine is spreading quickly throughout college football. About 40 schools offered beer, at least, to the general public last year, and the NCAA even allowed beer to be served at the College World Series last summer.
The demolishing of the south end zone dorms is one of many projects ongoing at Tiger Stadium. All of the stadium’s restrooms are being renovated this offseason, and the renovation of concession stands are scheduled for next offseason, Alleva said. The school announced the concession and restroom renovation project last year.
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The razing of the dormitories was not a surprise. Nunez discussed the plan a year ago. He called it an "easy" project, as the dorms were not connected to the structure or upper bowl of Tiger Stadium.
About 150-200 dorm rooms were removed, he estimated, stretching from the west to the east side of the south end zone.
Officials had cleared out about "80 percent" of the dorms over the last several months.
"Started on one side and gradually knocked them down. All that area is wide open. When you come into the south, you’ll be able to see the ramps going into the actual stadium," Nunez said. "It allows us to have more areas for concessions. If there’s inclement weather situation, it's an area for people to go."
Scott Rabalais contributed to this report.