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Questions and answers about the construction of Jones AT&T Stadium

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If Texas Tech's athletics department had charged people a small fee to tune in online and track the daily progress of its two-year, $242 million football facilities project, it might have made a significant contribution to its return on investment.

This is a joke. Somehow.

The construction of the Jones AT&T Stadium building at the south end of the zone, the adjacent Dustin R. Womble Football Center, the new visitors' locker room, its ramp to the field, and a new video board and sound system at the north end have created a source of endless fascination for Texas Tech football fans.

They discuss it in long forum threads, watch it for free on YouTube, and get annoyed when the cameras are turned off.

Here are questions that have come in lately about all the new bells and whistles at Jones AT&T Stadium.

A level-by-level look: What's inside Texas Tech Football's new end zone building at Jones AT&T Stadium?

Q: Are you aware of any near-future plans for the stadium?

DW: Nothing beyond what is currently underway. It is worth recalling that the total cost of the project is $242 million, of which $220 million is allocated to the South End Zone building and the Womble Football Center and the remaining $22 million The changing room for visitors, the new sound system and the video board are no longer available.

According to Robert Giovannetti, senior associate athletics director at Tech, total donations and commitments toward those costs reached $103 million as of Tuesday.

When construction is complete, Tech Athletics will purchase the property from the Red Raider Facilities Foundation for the balance of the construction loan. Then the department will likely take on significant debt in early 2025, deputy athletics director Jonathan Botros said recently, to pay off the project.

Related: Texas Tech Athletics reported record revenue of $146.8 million in fiscal year 2023

Q: Is it normal in the college athletics landscape to take on so much debt from this project? I'm curious to see how this debt would be paid off over time.

DW: I don't think it's unusual. Large-scale university sports facility projects have been the norm across the country for several decades. Part of being able to keep up with the Joneses in college football.

Keep in mind that Tech officials have set a fundraising goal of $100 million, and Botros said after the 2022 season that there would only be cause for concern if they didn't reach that amount. But that doesn't mean they don't want more. They are still raising money for the project.

Texas Tech plans to pay down the remaining debt as much as possible through a combination of philanthropic donations, financing and game day bonus revenue from the suites and club seats in the South End Zone. The more bills are covered in this way, the less Tech has to deduct from operating income in the annual budget.

The 17 suites already allocated in the South End Zone building bring the total number of suites in the stadium to 102.

Related: What was the reason for the decision to move the Texas Tech visitors' locker room?

Q: Will the visitor tunnel eventually be covered with bleachers or will it be open-air like the old tunnels?

DW: Covered by stands. Only the mouth of the ramp opening is visible from the playing field.

Q: I liked the change this stadium has undergone over the years. What will the official capacity be once completed?

DW: The exact number has yet to be determined. This will be known once occupancy of the party decks on the southeast and southwest corners of the new building are determined and after seating is reinstalled in the northeast corner above the new ramp.

As of this week, those numbers had not been determined, Giovannetti said.

The capacity should hardly differ from the previous 60,454. I'm assuming the number won't be lower than 60,000 because some tech fans seem to attach psychological significance to this number.

Can you imagine the reaction if the new capacity is 59,999?

A vision in 2016: The South End of the Jones: What Form Will It Take?

Q: The Jones has come a long way since I was there. Do you think they will ever connect the southwest and southeast corners to complete it?

DW: There are no immediate plans to do so. I don't think what you describe will happen during my professional life.

Q: Do you think they will ever redo the north end zone?

DW: That's a long time, so yeah. In the near future? No. It is not very old and does not need to be renewed at this point.

The stadium club and North End Zone boxes opened for the 2016 season, with the colonnade backdrop being constructed shortly beforehand.

Related: Tech removes the Double-T landmark from the north end of the stadium

Q: Will you finish the Double T with a black top that says “Texas Tech”?

DW: Yes, a top part is added to the double T scoreboard. What was lifted and briefly placed there a few weeks ago needed to be overhauled, according to Tech officials.

Q: A question about the Northeast Light Standard. Will it be moved closer to the building on the east side to meet the Southeast lighting standard?

DW: No. Stay where it is.

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Get a close look at the building in the south end of Jones AT&T Stadium

The $242 million “Jewel of Texas Tech Football” project includes a field-level club, loge boxes, a colonnade, coaches’ offices, luxury suites and a party terrace

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Texas Tech Football Visitor Locker Room at Jones AT&T Stadium, Ramp

Texas Tech officials are moving visiting teams' games from their longtime location at the southeast end of Jones Stadium to avoid Red Raiders and fans

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Jones AT&T Stadium ramp to new Texas Tech football locker room

The Texas Tech football visitors' locker room is scheduled to be completed by Aug. 31, the date of the Red Raiders' season opener against Abilene Christian.

Anna Harden

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