100 Days Away: Baylor Prepares for Football Season Opener at McLane Stadium
WACO, Texas — Baylor University football returns to campus in exactly 100 days. Baylor officials announced today that construction on McLane Stadium, designed by Populous, is on schedule, and the stadium will be ready to open as planned, beginning with a high school football game between Aledo and Cedar Park on Friday, Aug. 29 before the Baylor Bears’ kick off their inaugural football game on Aug. 31, 2014.
Located on Interstate 35 along the Brazos River, McLane Stadium is the largest project ever built in Waco and the Central Texas region. The stadium, which will serve as a front door to the University campus, will accommodate more than 45,000 spectators, including 8,000 students.
Fans will have multiple ways to get to McLane Stadium, including crossing the Brazos over the 775-foot-long Sheila and Walter Umphrey Pedestrian Bridge, or arriving by boat, as the stadium has 16 individual boat slips that it will make available for “sailgating.”
Under a 147,000-square-foot canopy, the stadium also includes six founder’s suites, 36 additional suites with a lounge, and 51 loge boxes of various sizes, along with 10 elevators and four escalators. The stadium is situated on a 93-acre site that includes the new Clyde Hart Track and Field stadium.
Construction is rapidly coming to a close on the exterior of the impressive facility as contractors begin to focus exclusively on finishing touches related to the stadium interior.
Although still under construction, the $266 million stadium has already had a significant economic impact on the city of Waco and surrounding areas. The McLane Stadium project has employed 145 contractors and more than 3,700 tradesmen, including 800 now on site, who have worked 1.5 million hours to-date. Approximately 43 percent of the dollars contracted thus far have been spent locally.
The stadium is 860,000 square feet in size, more than double the square footage of Floyd Casey Stadium, where the Bears played their home games since 1950. Plans for the stadium have resulted in 1,566 architectural drawings, which, if laid end-to-end, would stretch out more than a mile in length.
In the construction of McLane Stadium, contractors have installed:
- 39 exterior steel columns, 42 inches in diameter and 115 feet tall
- 3-million feet of wire, weighing a total of 300,000 pounds
- 40,000 light fixtures with 200 different styles not including the 320 sports light fixtures
- 36 miles of plumbing pipe, 8 miles of HVAC pipe and five miles of underground piping
- 3,164 tons of structural steel
- 500,000 pounds of ductwork
- 1,380 pieces of pre-cast concrete
- 330,000 square feet of sidewalks
In December 2013, Baylor announced that it would name its new football stadium, McLane Stadium, after one of the most distinguished and generous alumni families in Baylor University history. The name honors Drayton McLane Jr. and his family’s continuing generosity and lengthy history of service to Baylor.