Nebraska athletic department has announced further plans to its stadium expansion by increasing the capacity by 1,000 seats.

University officials had originally planned a 5,000 seat increase at the 81,067-seater Memorial Stadium but a smaller expansion was decided at the design phase. The stadium has seen a number of expansion projects since it was built in 1923.

John Ingram, assistant athletic director for capital planning said: "It prepares us for the future and gives us more flexibility for making changes down the road as far as adding seats. It doesn't limit as much what we can do."

The latest change is expected to add around $8m to the cost of the overall redevelopment to a total of $63.5m. The plans include a major overhaul of existing athlete facilities and training areas.

Memorial Stadium underwent impressive changes in 2009, with the addition of two new HuskerVision replay boards and a ribbon board running across the overhang of both the east and west sides of the stadium.

Athletic director Tom Osborne said in October that a modest expansion would bring the stadium closer in size to its Big Ten counterparts – the biggest stadiums in US. It would also preserve Nebraska's sell-out streak, which is the longest in college football and dates to 1962.

Nebraska enters the Big Ten on July 1. The largest stadium in the conference—and in college football—is Michigan Stadium, the venerable Big House, which seats 109,901. Construction for the redevelopment is scheduled to begin in May is expected to complete before the 2013 football season.

Posted on 11/03/2011