More than 60,000 fans flocked to LaVell Edwards Stadium Aug. 29 for the historic 100th meeting between BYU and Utah. While the game was historic for the rival teams, it was also historic for LaVell Edwards Stadium as it debuted its recent upgrades aimed at enhancing the safety, convenience and fun of the game-day experience.
Beginning at the end of the 2018 season, construction work at Edwards Stadium began to add approximately 75,000 square feet of ramps, walkways and viewing areas. The new additions also connected the mezzanine level, allowing fans to navigate the stadium during the game without having to return to the ground level. These improvements aim to improve wheelchair accessibility and foot traffic flow.
Convenient bathroom access was another point of the improvement as over 200 bathroom fixtures were added to the north and south end zones.
In addition to structural improvements, BYU introduced a free Wi-Fi network prior to the 2018 football season. This state-of-the-art network, with over 46 miles of cable and 1,200 antennas, is similar to those often used in NFL stadiums to connect large crowds to one network simultaneously. With the improved wireless connection, fans can download and use the BYU Gameday app to watch instant replays, look up stats and check social media feeds.
The team’s traditional Cougar Walk, which gives fans the opportunity to greet players and coaches, will now take place in Cougar Canyon, a tailgating area on the west side of the stadium along Canyon Road. Cougar Canyon includes food trucks, inflatables, autographs, games and other fan entertainment beginning three-and-a-half hours before kickoff at all home games.
The creation of Cougar Canyon is a major step to increase the college football tradition of tailgating at BYU. BYU’s tailgating scene has been relatively small. As part of its efforts to increase tailgating, the athletic department teamed up with Tailgate Guys, a national leader in tailgating and event planning headquartered in Alabama, to increase the pre-game tailgating experience in Provo.
Between stadium improvements, Cougar Canyon and the 2019 season, LaVell Edwards Stadium is packed with changes and new additions this fall.