Renovations to Roy Kidd Stadium were discussed Thursday during the introduction of new Eastern Kentucky University football coach Mark Elder. EKU Athletic Director Steve Lochmueller said the school, which has removed bleachers on the stadium’s east side, is in the final phases of looking at what design will eventually be in place there.
“In a broad scope, you’re gonna see about 3,300-ish seats over there and a new curvature stadium that’ll be from end zone to end zone,” Lochmueller said. “ ... Right behind that you’re gonna see an 8,500-square foot locker room for the home team. That’s real, bonded, paid for.”
Lochmueller said EKU hopes to begin construction on that element in the next 3-4 months. The school is talking about other things that it can do to become a player at the FBS level in the event it’s invited to make that leap. Before construction, Roy Kidd Stadium could seat about 20,000 people.
“We need to have a new football stadium,” Lochmueller said. “It doesn’t have to be big. ... One day hopefully we can take (our) vision to the public. But we would hope to have something between 15,000 and 20,000. That’s all you need today.
“Look at our neighbors up north and others; they’ve downsized just to make it nicer, not bigger. That’s our vision here. Now we just have to go out and figure out how we can make that happen over the next year or two.”
When asked about competing to host non-NCAA football events such as the six KHSAA football finals — which currently call WKU’s Houchens/L.T. Smith Stadium home — Lochmueller spoke more broadly about EKU becoming a player again when it comes to hosting high school state championships, including football.
“I don’t know why certain things moved off campus several years ago,” said Lochmueller. “I wasn’t here so I don’t know whether it was a financial thing or a facility thing. I don’t really know what it was. But what I’d like to see is state championships — basketball, football, whatever they might be — I’d like to see us participating in that. ... I’d like to see us be able to do some more things at the high school level. I think it’s a great opportunity to bring young men and young women on campus.”