A Tale of Two Stadiums - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

A Tale of Two Stadiums

Artist renderings of the new ASU stadium show exterior views (above) and a luxury suite (below). Artist renderings of the new ASU stadium show exterior views (above) and a luxury suite (below).
The city's new multi-purpose facility is visible in the above drawings of Cramton Bowl. The city's new multi-purpose facility is visible in the above drawings of Cramton Bowl.
  • Inside WSFA.comMore>>

  • The history of Cramton Bowl

    The history of Cramton Bowl

    Thursday, February 16 2012 9:39 PM EST2012-02-17 02:39:24 GMT
    Thursday, February 16 2012 9:42 PM EST2012-02-17 02:42:57 GMT
    MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Cramton Bowl is named for F.J. Cramton, who donated the land on which the stadium is built.  The location, which is now Cramton Bowl, was originally a sanitary landfill ownedMore >>
    Cramton Bowl is named for F.J. Cramton, who donated the land on which the stadium is built. The location, which is now Cramton Bowl, was originally a sanitary landfill.More >>
  • Other recent ASU construction projects

    Other recent ASU construction projects

    Thursday, February 16 2012 11:41 PM EST2012-02-17 04:41:20 GMT
    Thursday, February 16 2012 11:47 PM EST2012-02-17 04:47:54 GMT
    ASU CAPITAL PROJECTS (2011-2012)     ProjectProgram BudgetStatus     32 Commerce Street-College of Business-Phase One $         More >>
    ASU CAPITAL PROJECTS (2011-2012) ProjectProgram BudgetStatus 32 Commerce Street-College of Business-Phase One $ 4,200,000.00 Design Phase Acadome Sky Lounge Renovation $More >>

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - You can't miss it. A huge new football stadium is rising above the campus of Alabama State University. It's the latest in a string of construction projects at the school.

But this one is different. Some say it puts ASU in direct competition with the city of Montgomery and the newly renovated Cramton Bowl.


The New Hornet Stadium

ASU's new stadium will be the largest in the SWAC conference. In fact, it will hold more than three times the number of fans that normally attends Hornet football games. But university officials say that doesn't concern them. They say they're building for the future.

The stadium is one of more than a dozen new construction projects on campus in the last five years. There are new dorms, new classroom buildings, and a new library.

Here's a complete list of recent projects.

 "The economy is conducive to construction, so we've taken advantage of economic times," said Kippy Tate, Vice President of Buildings and Grounds.

Together, the recent projects cost ASU more than a quarter of a billion dollars. The football stadium's price tag is $62 million. It is designed to hold nearly 30,000 fans, but can be expanded in the future to accommodate 55,000.

Learn more about the stadium and how to buy tickets.

"It should help with student morale, alumni morale, increase our fan base, and create a better game day experience," Tate said.


The Newly Renovated Cramton Bowl

For years, the Hornets played at Montgomery's Cramton Bowl which, ironically, has just undergone a transformation of its own -- $10 million in renovations.

But ASU chose not to stay. And now the university is luring other Cramton Bowl tenants to its new stadium.

Built in 1922 on Fred Cramton's old landfill, Cramton Bowl has served Montgomery well. It is best known for high school and college football games. More recently, it landed the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game.

Read more about Cramton Bowl's history

But soon, ASU will be working to attract those same events. 

"We're looking at high school games, all-star games, concerts, battles of the bands, that sort of thing," said ASU Athletic Director Stacy Danley.

Unlike Cramton Bowl, the new ASU stadium boasts all kinds of amenities, including luxury suites and an air conditioned club level.

But city of Montgomery officials say they're not concerned.

"I'm in favor of them having everything they can get," said Ken Blankenship. "And we'll have everything we can get."

Blankenship heads the Central Alabama Sports Commission, which is tasked by the city with attracting new sporting events to town. He says Cramton Bowl has something ASU doesn't have.

The difference is a huge new multi-purpose building sitting in the end zone.

"There's nothing like it in Alabama," Blankenship claimed.

The building is 92,000 square feet -- the largest building that can be built without internal support columns. And that means it can be used for almost anything.

"Volleyball, basketball, judo," explained Blankenship. "You can have 20 wrestling matches in there. You can do dance competitions, cheerleading competitions."

The Sports Commission has identified more than 25 uses for the building. And it's already getting bookings.

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange also points to the dozens of other sports facilities in town as venues to attract new sporting events. He says the city is marketing local baseball stadiums, golf courses, a new and improved soccer complex, even the Alabama River.

Read more about the venues marketed by Montgomery

"When people come and stay in Montgomery hotels, spend their money and have a good time, that's the pay back for us," Strange said.

So it appears these two stadiums aren't competing, but complimenting one another. Both are part of the effort to build new revenue and a new reputation for Montgomery as a sports capital of Alabama.

Copyright 2012. WSFA 12 News. All Rights Reserved.

  • WSFA Online Poll

  • CAN MONTGOMERY SUPPORT TWO STADIUMS? (Cramton Bowl & ASU)

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    NO
    51%
    659 votes
    YES
    38%
    497 votes
    UNSURE
    11%
    137 votes
  • SPECIAL REPORT: A Tale of Two Stadiums
Powered by Frankly