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Fighting Illini plans for performance center instead of much-needed Memorial Stadium renovations


Illinois’ Memorial Stadium is seen before the start of the NCAA college football game against Charleston Southern Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012 in Champaign, Ill. (AP File Photo/Seth Perlman)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman says plans for a $132 million renovation at Memorial Stadium are on hold and instead the school will break ground next year on a stand-alone football performance center.

Whitman on Tuesday said that the new project will cost between $60 million and $80 million. It will include some things planned in the stadium renovation, like locker rooms, training facilities and coach offices. But it won’t include renovations to the stadium’s south end zone.

The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports Whitman said those plans will be “the second phase of this whole project.”

The performance center will be attached to the south end of the Irwin Indoor Practice Facility at the northeast side of Memorial Stadium. Plans are for it to be finished by summer 2019.

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Fighting Illini plans for performance center instead of much-needed Memorial Stadium renovations