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Remade Ross-Ade taking shape

The makeover is under way for Ross-Ade Stadium, which turns 78 years old this year.

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The second year of the three-year $70 million project to renovate and reconstruct the home of the Boilermakers began Dec. 4 with the piece-by-piece demolition of the Woodworth Memorial Press Box.

Through the past few months, seating has been removed, a new pavilion has risen on the west side of the stadium, and concrete replacement in the north bend have begun.

Boilermaker football fans will notice the new look this fall even though the first phase of the project won't be complete until summer of 2003.

"Not all of the planned changes will be evident until the start of the 2003 season," says Jay Cooperider, assistant athletics director for communications. "But by the beginning of the 2002 season, the new concourse will have taken shape, a number of new concession and restroom buildings will be up, and the enlarged footprint of Ross-Ade will be in place with the relocated roads on the east and west."

The stadium will have a new look and feel, he says, thanks in part to a widened concourse from the southwest corner to the northeast corner -- the metal bracing will be removed and queuing areas will be installed in front of concession areas to ease the flow of traffic.

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Much of the pavilion will be completed, including suites and indoor club seating. Inside the stadium, wider aisles with handrails will be completed in the north bend, and a new sound system will be in place. Also, North University Drive will have been moved east to make room for widening of the east concourse.

"The concourse will be higher and wider," Cooperider says. "Fans will love it."

Once the 2002 season is over, work will continue to complete outdoor club seating on the west side of the stadium. The entire seating area in the stadium will be redone with wider seats, wider aisles and handrails on the aisles. And the east concourse will be widened. In addition, the brick facade will be comleted all the way around the stadium.

A potential second phase that could begin in 2005 will include an 8,000-seat seating deck on the stadium's east side. A third phase would add a 10,000-seat deck on the north curve of the stadium.

The second and third phase are dependent on the demand for tickets.


Once complete, Ross-Ade Stadium will be more fan-friendly:

  • More restrooms. There will be 207 urinals and 137 waterclosets (total 344) for men, and 484 for women. Currently there are 134 for men and 114 for women. There will be two family restrooms added to the concourse.
  • More concessions. The number of concession points of sale will increase from approximately 50 existing to 150. Concession areas will have added equipment so a wider variety of foods can be prepared.

    Overall, 11 new restroom and concession buildings will be added to the outside of the existing concourse area.


    New wider seats and wider aisles throughout the stadium mean that beginning with the 2003 season, the capacity of Ross-Ade Stadium will drop from the current 67,332 to about 62,500.

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    For that reason, a complete seat reallocation is necessary for the 2003 season. John Purdue Club members and season ticket holders received specific information about the reallocation this spring.

    Some reallocation of seating in sections 9 through 21 will be necessary beginning this fall because of construction in the north curve of the stadium.

    Fans who are affected for this fall will be notified this spring and will be moved slightly within the north end of the stadium.

    The John Purdue Club point system will be used to determine priority for the 2003 reallocation. Non-John Purdue Club members will then be prioritized based on years of consecutive season ticket purchase.

    Priority points are accumulated in a number of ways, including giving to the John Purdue Club, consecutive years of purchasing season tickets for football and men's and women's basketball, and membership in the Purdue Alumni Association and the Purdue President's Council.

    Season ticket holders and John Purdue Club members should watch their mailboxes over the next several months for more information.

    Information also will be available on the John Purdue Club Web site and at

    THE 2002 SEASON

    Sept. 7 at Notre Dame
    Sept. 14 WESTERN MICHIGAN (Parents' Day)
    Sept. 21 WAKE FOREST (P-Awards)
    Sept. 28 MINNESOTA (Homecoming)
    Oct. 5 at Iowa
    Oct. 12 at Illinois
    Oct. 19 MICHIGAN
    Oct. 26 at Northwestern
    Nov. 9 OHIO STATE
    Nov. 16 at Michigan State
    Nov. 23 INDIANA
    Season tickets for the 2002 season are $224 for the general public, $180 for staff and faculty, and $140 for the south end zone. For information, call the Athletic Ticket Office at (765) 494-3194 or (800) 49-SPORT [(800) 497-7678].

    PHOTO CAPTION:   The new press box and pavilion will be mostly complete by the time Boilermaker football fans arrive at Ross-Ade Stadium for the first home game on Aug. 31.

    PHOTO CAPTION:   This is an artist's drawing of the pavilion as it would be seen from the north end of the stadium.

    PHOTO CAPTION:   A new plaza just north of the Ross-Ade Stadium will allow fans gathering before the game to mingle, and purchase concessions or merchandise.

    Photographs by David Umberger