"In Phase I, prior to the 2010 football season, we replaced 429 windows in the North end of Tiger Stadium and began a beautification project to enhance North Stadium Drive and to Preserve Tiger Stadium as a whole," Richard said.
Phase II in 2011 focused on the North and West Side Plazas, which showcases LSU Football and highlights the greatness of Tigers past for all to see, Richard said.
Phase III, the South End Zone addition, will include about about 3,000 club level seats, 1,500 upper deck seats and two levels of 1,500 suite seats, which will connect to the current east stadium suites, said Richard.
New student entrance gates, extended sidewalks and wrought-iron barricades lining North Stadium Drive will also be built in the coming months.
"We'll also have a Standing Room Only section for a mom or dad with a child to get in and watch the game for $25," he said. "This includes big games and not-so-big games. It's been well-received this past year."
Richard said the marketing of all the new seats and suites in the stadium went well and many sold out within a few days, depending on the section of seats. "We marketed 3,000 stadium seats, which were sold in priority order, in a little over two weeks," the TAF president said. "We're very pleased with the selling of those seats, especially since I know the price tags are hefty."
Once completed, Tiger Stadium will hold a maximum of 100,000 people, whether the seats are occupied or not. "I guess that depends on who we play," Richard joked.
This would make Tiger Stadium the seventh largest in the nation and the third largest in the Southeastern Conference, just behind the University of Tennessee and the University of Alabama.
In addition to the new premium seating and South End Zone addition, Richard said the old scoreboard will come down and two new high definition screens, each twice the original board's size, will go into the corners of the stadium. "They will be among the best in the SEC," said Richard. "Fans will be very impressed with the clarity and quality of the new scoreboards."
Other renovations, since the TAF’s Preservation of Tiger Stadium began in 2010 include: erecting concrete pillars for new western gates and installing recognition plaques for national All-Americans.
The TAF's main job is to support LSU athletics, but more importantly, Richard said, is the graduation of all LSU student athletes. "Seventy-seven percent of our athletes graduate, and that puts us only second to Vanderbilt."
The question was raised by Rotarians about parking accommodations congruent with the new seating, and Richard said a multi-level garage would likely be constructed.
He also fielded a question regarding a cap on coaches' salaries. "People are talking about it and I feel that if schools do not get a handle on that cost, then universities will start to shrink," Richard said. "But no school wants to initiate that discussion for fear of losing. The larger schools need to make a statement and then others will follow."
On the topic of LSU Chancellor and President, Richard said this: "We need to pick the right person for the job, and if they combine the two positions, we need someone who will not use LSU as a stepping stone but someone who understands Louisiana culture and its heritage."
For questions about the TAF, e-mail email@example.com, call 1(800) 644-4823 or visit www.lsutaf.org.