Tennessee baseball announced its renderings and plans to renovate and expand Lindsey Nelson Stadium Friday afternoon. The expansion and renovations to Tennessee’s baseball stadium have been in the works ever since Tony Vitello raised the profile of the Vols program.
The Board of Trustees approved of the plan that increased the budget of the renovations to $95.8 million earlier Friday.
“The interest and excitement surrounding our plans for the new-look Lindsey Nelson Stadium have been overwhelming. After seeking additional input from Vol Nation through our fan surveys, it was apparent that we needed to think even bigger,” Tennessee Director of Athletics Danny White said in a release. “But one thing we’ve been strategic about throughout this process is ensuring that the final product provides our team with the most unique and tangible homefield advantage in college baseball. Our fans and students always make their presence felt—and we want to maximize their impact on winning ballgames.”
The renovations and expansion will take Lindsey Nelson Stadium’s capacity from approximately 4,300 to 7,600 (seating 6,100 & standing room only 1,500).
“The players we have been blessed to coach here have created a significant need for increased capacity,” Tennessee coach Vitello said. “To date, our fans have been arguably the rowdiest in the country. Now, similar to our football and basketball facilities, we will have seating capacity that is more appropriate to house not just passion of our fans but the quantity, as well.”
Lindsey Nelson Stadium’s expansion is expected to come in two phases with work beginning in August after a number of high school baseball tournaments at LNS are over this summer. Before the start of the 2024 season, Tennessee is adding more seats down the right field in front of the coaches’ offices and batting cages.
Adding seats down the right field line continues the “hornet’s nest” theme at Lindsey Nelson Stadium where fans are right on top of the field— something Tony Vitello has talked fondly of in recent years.
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The second phase of the expansion plan includes tearing down the current press box and adding a new second level above the grandstands that include the new press box and premium seating.
Phase two is also expected to include a facelift to the main entrance to Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The project will also add two entry gates to the stadium including a student specific gate.
With the increase in capacity, Tennessee is expanding the concourses and adding more concession stands and bathrooms.
Tennessee baseball is currently stronger than it’s been in decades. Tony Vitello has taken Tennessee to four NCAA Tournaments, three super regionals and two College World Series in his six years as head coach. The numbers are even more impressive considering the 2020 season got cancelled a month in and Tennessee was poised for a very successful season.
“Since arriving in Knoxville, our staff, in combination with the university’s support, have earmarked player development as priority number one,” Vitello said. “With these proposed renovations, our player development areas will go from some of the best in the country to a truly elite status. And this is only a portion of the extensive work that ultimately will result in a facility worthy of its fan base.
The Vols are looking to pair their strong returning nucleus with talent in the transfer portal this offseason to gear up for another run to Omaha. Three transfers have already committed to Tennessee and the Vols will add even more in the coming weeks.