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Athletics: Cajun Field expansion not done, but on schedule – photo gallery and video included

Chad Washington, The Advertiser, July 30, 2014

A look at the south end zone renovations at Cajun Field.

A look at the south end zone renovations at Cajun Field. (Photo Chad Washington, The Advertiser)

Click here for the photo gallery.

Even though the mud and the dirt that still surrounds Cajun Field, there is a sense of something new and exciting is coming along slowly.

Even though the new south end zone still doesn’t have all of the bleacher seats installed, UL officials are confident that the newly expanded area will be ready by mid-August, in time for the Ragin’ Cajuns’ season opener against Southern on Aug. 30.

"Cajun Field is an incredible home-field advantage which has been a major factor in our success," UL athletic director Scott Farmer said. "And I’m proud to reward our fans with a six-game schedule as well as a variety of upgrades to the fan experience."

Click here for video of Scott Farmer on Cajun Field improvements.

UL athletic director Scott Farmer on Cajun Field improvements. Chad Washington, The Advertiser

UL associate athletic director of internal operations John Dugas said that the construction is on schedule and looks to be completed by Aug. 22.

The new seating area will hold 6,000 new bleacher seats, five separate areas for accessible seating, new bathrooms with 80 toilets (50 women, 30 men) and 16 new concession stands with new equipment that will sell from soft tacos and nachos to bacon burgers and pepper jack cheeseburgers.

"(The new seats) will bring the Cajun Field capacity to around 38,000, which doesn’t include standing-room-only areas and the berm in the north end zone," Farmer said.

The exact number of capacity will come next month, Farmer said. He also hinted that the new expansion could set new attendance records this season.

"We averaged at 29,000 last year, so let’s shoot for 30,000," he said.

Fans will now be able to pay for their food and drinks with their credit cards in the new concourse area, and also can use social media to handle concerns or questions to the staff.

"A lot of people are going to sit in the new section because it’s new and you’re going to be close to the new concessions," Dugas said. "Fans are going to be close to the new concessions and restrooms."

Other new features to the stadium include a new videoboard that is three times larger than it was before, including high-definition video and statistics. Also, a new mobile cell tower is being installed near the stadium to increase connectivity for AT&T customers.

The new seats allow for new seating arrangements in the stadium. The student section and band will be moved to the southeast part of the stadium that will allow 2,700 seats at midfield. Season ticket holders in that area will also get a chairback for their seat.

"Fans can purchase season tickets on the 50-yard line for just $150," Farmer said.

Along with the new services, there is a new place for RV parking. Instead of near the soccer/track stadium, RVs will be now put on the West Congress side of the stadium near the scoreboard. There will be 81 tailgating spots there with 50 new power hookups.

Also, mobile ticketing will be available this football season after being tested during the baseball season and postseason. Fans will now be able to pay their ticket invoices online, print out tickets at home, forward tickets to others and even use their smartphones as a ticket.

"This is the most anticipated football season in recent history," Farmer said.