Renovated TCU stadium is ready for debut

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by GEORGE RIBA

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WFAA

Posted on September 5, 2012 at 9:27 PM

FORT WORTH — The $164 million update to TCU's Amon G. Carter Stadium is now just three days away from hosting its first game. Is everything ready?

Ross Bailey should know, since he's been the university's point man for the project that began nearly two years ago.

"I hesitate to use the term '100 percent,' because we're going to be back-punching listing things for another month," Bailey said.

The stadium has 45,000 seats. On game day, TCU will add another 2,700, bringing the total to just under 48,000.

Bailey said the Founders Gallery is a tribute to the families that helped pay for the project. "Three to five years from now, this thing is paid for, and to have that debt off the university is just incredible," he said.

Frank Windegger was with the school for 45 years as a football player, a coach, and then athletic director. He said the Big 12 is where the program belongs.

"They got us out of the Big 12," Windegger said. "We played in some safe waters there for a while. Now we're back home. This is our home. We thrilled about this."

So is head coach Gary Patterson. He said his team has already worked out six times in the new stadium, and still worries about the freshmen when they take the field.

"Young guys! [They say], 'Here's my new jersey.' 'Look at my helmet. It's like, 'Hey, I just met you in English class, how are ya?' I mean, you name it — Those are the kinds of things head coaches think about. It’s all crazy," Patterson said.

Meanwhile, Windegger said the stadium reminds him of a phrase made famous by the late head football coach Jim Wacker.

"Unbelievable," Windegger said. "That's also what I think... unbelievable!"

E-mail griba@wfaa.com

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