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Illinois State plans football stadium renovation

Normal, IL (Sports Network) - Illinois State's Hancock Stadium will undergo about $20 million of renovation - the first major changes since the football stadium was built 50 years ago in 1961.

ISU president Al Bowman announced the renovation at his annual "State of the University Address" Tuesday.

The project will be paid for through a variety of funding sources.

"(Hancock Stadium) is literally the most visible front door to our campus," Bowman said. "It is the first structure most people see when arriving at Illinois State from Main Street. It is a quickly noticed landmark that should reflect the top quality and high standards of this institution. Unfortunately, it does exactly the opposite."

The university says nine million cars drive in front of Hancock Stadium on Main Street annually. The primary focus of the renovation will be the construction of a new east grandstand, which is scheduled to be completed prior to the 2013 season. It will include a two-story enclosed structure to house a minimum of eight suites, a club level with a minimum 500 seats and a club room, and a media and event production facility.

The east side grandstand will seat an estimated 7,500 fans, each with chair backs, increasing the overall capacity of Hancock Stadium to about 14,000.

The existing press box area on the west side of the stadium also will be renovated for coaches boxes.

"There is an arms race when it comes to facilities for student-athletes in collegiate athletics and it plays a major factor in the recruiting process," ISU head football coach Brock Spack said. "These new renovations will help us significantly in that process and continue to bring in talented and high- achieving student-athletes to the program and the university."

09/27 15:29:08 ET