Coming off of a successful season that included its first bowl win since 1992, Baylor University's football program will get the chance to build on its success with a new football stadium, scheduled to open for the 2014 season, according to Baylor's website.
Baylor, which finished 10-3 last season, set or tied 129 school records at the Valero Alamo Bowl, according to the Baylor website. Quarterback Robert Griffin III (left) won the Heisman Trophy and may arguably be the second overall pick for the Washington Redskins in the upcoming April NFL draft. (Reuters/Mike Stone)
The university's Board of Regents announced on Tuesday that the university received a leadership gift-the largest capital gift in university history-from Elizabeth and Drayton McLane Jr. to build the stadium, to be called Baylor Stadium, alongside the Brazos River. The gift will lead to on-going fundraising to support stadium construction.
We are fortunate to be a family that includes a number of proud Baylor University alumni, said Drayton McLane Jr., a 1958 Baylor graduate. We believe strongly in the University's distinct and important role as a Christian institution dedicated to academic excellence at the highest level. As a family, we wanted to do something that would shine a light on the University we love, while enhancing student life at Baylor and impacting positively the city of Waco and Central Texas. This is an incredible time to be a Baylor Bear and all the McLane family is excited to part of the momentum that is leading Baylor to new heights.
Baylor Stadium is expected to be built on a 93-acre site on Interstate 35, which would make it visible to 42 million drivers annually. The stadium will seat 45,000 people, and could expand to 55,000 in the future. Other ingredients to the stadium include a bridge crossing the Brazos River and connecting the stadium to the campus, canopy shading for half of all seats throughout the day, open concourses with views directly into the stadium, suites, loge boxes, indoor and outdoor club seating, designated seating for Baylor students and the Baylor band, and an event center and Stadium Club for year-round use.
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We recognize that we are living in a remarkable time in the history of Baylor athletics, and we are blessed to have loyal, courageous and generous friends in Elizabeth and Drayton McLane, and their family, who have stepped forward to encourage all of us to take hold of a rare opportunity for our football program, said Baylor President Ken Starr. Their significant leadership gift will secure Baylor's position among the nation's elite collegiate athletics programs, while providing our alumni, students and student-athletes a game day experience like none other in Baylor history.
Baylor currently plays at Floyd Casey Stadium, located south and across Interstate 35 from the school's Waco, Texas campus, and has been playing there since 1950.
View artist renderings of the new Baylor Stadium here.