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UA Athletics Unveils "The Crimson Standard," and Major Renovations are Planned to Athletic Facilities - Druid City Living, Tuscaloosa's premier community newspaper.

UA Athletics Unveils "The Crimson Standard," and Major Renovations are Planned to Athletic Facilities

Alabama Coach Nick Saban and his wife Ms. Terry donated $1 million to The Crimson Standard. Alabama Coach Nick Saban and his wife Ms. Terry donated $1 million to The Crimson Standard. University of Alabama Athletics

The Alabama Department of Athletics announced on Thursday, Aug. 16, its 10-year, $600 million capital initiative, The Crimson Standard, which is designed to comprehensively elevate the student-athlete experience, recruiting efforts and the overall game-day experience for all Crimson Tide fans. The initiative includes major renovations to Bryant-Denny Stadium, Coleman Coliseum, and several other athletic facilities.

"We spent the last year and a half looking at our history and analyzing where we are currently to help create a vision for the future that enhances Alabama Athletics to improve the student-athlete and the fan experience," Director of Athletics Greg Byrne said. "That vision is what led us to The Crimson Standard: A Capital Initiative for Alabama Athletics. We have a mission to build and maintain a program that achieves academic success and wins championships in all sports by educating and developing the best student-athletes and by supporting and retaining outstanding coaches.

"Our core values also begin with a commitment to the total support of the educational, athletic and personal development of all student-athletes. We have been on the forefront in investing in student-athlete development, academically, in life skills, career development, mental health, safety, nutrition and many other areas. That being said, evolution of facilities is critical as we continue to move our program forward to support the levels we expect them to perform at and compete for championships.

"This was a process that involved our student-athletes, our letter-winners, our coaches, staff, University leadership and our fans. It is a 10-year, $600 million plan, which we have broken down into three phases, and while you will only see a few areas highlighted in the video, understand The Crimson Standard is a comprehensive initiative that will positively impact nearly all of our teams and venues."

To date, nearly $143 million has been committed to The Crimson Standard, $1 million of which was gifted by Alabama Head Football Coach Nick Saban and his wife, Ms. Terry, at Thursday's press conference.

"To reinvest in the players and the programs here to make Alabama's athletic programs continue to be great in the future is a sacrifice we all need to make," said Saban. "We all want to have success. We can't get complacent about what we've been able to accomplish in the past. We have to look forward to what we need to do in the future. We're very excited about this Crimson initiative for the future, and on behalf of all the players, all the coaches, all the great relationships that we've been able to develop here at The University of Alabama over the last 11 years, Terry and I would like to support this initiative and donate a $1 million gift to The Crimson Standard and the future of Alabama Athletics, and in doing that, thank everyone for their support that they've given us."

Included in Phase 1 are several enhancements to Bryant-Denny Stadium with the renovation and expansion of multiple seating areas. In addition, renovations will be made to the lobby and football locker room at the Mal M. Moore Athletic Facility and a new Sports Science Center will be added. Rhoads Stadium and the Jerry Pate Golf Complex are also expected to be upgraded as part of the first phase.

"Today, in addition to remembering the history that we have, we also focus on the future," said Alabama President Dr. Stuart Bell. "We focus on looking forward. We focus on taking that step to move forward with a sharp vision that really does set The Crimson Standard as that future bar that we are looking for, and it will define how fans experience, how they participate and how they become a part of Alabama Athletics. This plan is all Alabama. It is second to none, and you've already heard that from our AD , and our Coach, and again, we know a lot of people emulate what we do here at The University of Alabama, and certainly we are going to set the bar to move away from our other competitors."

Another key component of Thursday's reveal included the renovation of Coleman Coliseum, which is part of the Phase 2 plan. The renovation will maintain the historic look, however it will be completely modernized with a brand new interior and a variety of seating options. New women's basketball and gymnastics team locker rooms will be built on the south side of the arena along with new men's and women's basketball offices.

"Greg has a great vision," said Alabama Head Men's Basketball Coach Avery Johnson. "He has great leadership. Obviously this is subject to Board approval and Dr. Bell, but we feel we have a really good model in place to get us in the end zone and make this a reality. I'm fired up about it. I'm fired up about what it's (Coleman Coliseum) going to look like, what it's going to do for recruiting, what it's going to do for fan experience."

"We're excited," said Alabama Head Women's Basketball Coach Kristy Curry. "When you look at who we are recruiting against, when you look at the fan experiences, when you look at the student experiences, I've had a chance to be in three difference leagues – the Big Ten, the Big 12 and now the SEC. This is what we need, and as we move into the future, to compete in all those areas we've got to have this. We're pretty fired up. We're really thankful to be a part of it, and the move back to Coleman."

For more information and premium seating options, visit CrimsonTideFoundation.org.

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