Wildcat Stadium, which director of athletics Lee De Leon said is on time and nearing fifty percent completion, received $2.85 million more of funding with a donation from Rick and Debbie Wessel.
As a result of the donation, the new, state-of-the-art Daktronics video board will bear the name of the Wessel family. The board will be the fourth largest on-campus video board in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and was one of four additions to the original blueprints.
The first was the main concourse being made open rather than closed off, increasing visibility of the field from the concession stands. Also, eight outdoor, covered suites, known as loge boxes, will be installed on the club level. On a smaller scale, rather than having eight light poles, there will be six in addition to a row of lights on top of the press box. Lastly, was the video board being bigger than expected, which solidified the plan for it to be the fourth largest in the FCS.
Stadium capacity will be 12,000, seating 6000 attendees on the west side, 3000 on the east side, 500 in the press box and suites, and 2500 overflow seats on the north side.
The stadium has five floors, making it the second-tallest building on campus, behind the Tower of Light. The locker rooms will be on the ground level, and above those will be the main concourse, which consists of concession stands, general admission and the public restrooms. The third floor will consist of the club level for donors to enjoy pregame, halftime and post-game festivities. The fourth floor will host the suites, each having a capacity of 20. Finally, the top level will house the press.
In addition to the new stadium, De Leon also said he is looking forward to the schedule for the upcoming season. Each year, the football team travels to play Football Bowl Series teams. This season, the Wildcats will face two – New Mexico State and Colorado State. The team will get to play in new stadiums back-to-back weeks, as ACU is the home opener in Colorado State’s new stadium.
“It’s a really exciting time to be a Wildcat and to be at ACU,” De Leon said.
ACU has not played an on campus game since 1958, a 59-year drought that will end when the Wildcats host Houston Baptist for their first home game at on Sept. 16 next season.