Update (3 p.m. Friday): The University of Oregon received approval from the Oregon University System Friday afternoon to move forward with improvements that will create easier and greater access for fans entering and exiting the north side of Autzen Stadium.
The Finance and Administration Committee of the State Board of Higher Education voted unanimously to approve a license agreement that enables the UO to proceed with the project.
Plans call for access ramps to be reconstructed and stairways added to speed-up post-game egress and improve safety, including evacuation in the case of emergency. New guardrails and ramps will meet all current ADA requirements.
The stadium’s landscaping will also be enhanced with the addition of numerous native plants and trees, for the aesthetic enjoyment of both fans and passers-by on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.
Last spring, the athletics department engaged an independent consultant to examine ingress and egress at Autzen Stadium and what measures could be taken to enhance both the fan experience and safety, as congestion issues were occurring.
As a result of the report, temporary stairs were constructed on the east and west sides, concourse pathways were improved and the number of standing-room-only tickets was limited.
The updates to Autzen Stadium will be entirely privately funded. No University or public funds have been or will be used in the design or construction of the modifications.
Work is scheduled to begin this spring and to be completed by the first game of the 2013 season.