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Half Baked or Fully Baked?

Malcolm Turner wants to know about all the ideas for a new football stadium. Let’s help him out.

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NCAA Football: Middle Tennessee at Vanderbilt Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The state of Vanderbilt’s Dudley Field, also known as Vanderbilt Stadium, has been an ongoing topic of conversation among Vanderbilt fans and beat writers. So naturally, one of the first things that Adam Sparks asked new athletic director Malcolm Turner about, on his first day on the job, was the stadium. Turner had this to say about it:

“I want to understand all options (on a stadium project), even some options that have been raised before,” said Turner, who left his job as the NBA’s G-League president for Vanderbilt. “I need to get my arms around how they’ve been framed. Were these fully-baked options or half-baked? You know what can happen on half-baked options. You only understand one side of it.”

As a Vanderbilt sports blog that knows quite a bit about half-baked ideas, we can probably be of some help here. Let’s run down the various options. Are they fully-baked or half-baked?

Move to the new MLS stadium

In this option, Vanderbilt would become a tenant in a new stadium built for MLS expansion franchise Nashville SC, located at the state fairgrounds several miles away from campus. Said stadium would be brand new and seat something in the 30,000-35,000 range, somewhat smaller than the current stadium.

On the one hand, because Vanderbilt would not be building the stadium itself, this would save a lot of money. On the other hand, this would probably go as well as Tulane playing football games at the Superdome did. Tulane eventually got around to just building a new on-campus stadium anyway, because the Superdome was such an awful place for them.

Half-Baked or Fully-Baked? This one was never put in the oven.

Rebuild Vanderbilt Stadium from the ground up

On the one hand, this would be by far the most expensive option, and the team might have to play at Nissan Stadium or whatever it’s called now for a year while it’s being built. On the other hand, they might have to do that anyway for a renovation project, and this would give Vanderbilt a brand sparkling new stadium. It would also be an easy way for Turner to announce that he means business.

Half-Baked or Fully-Baked? This one’s fresh out of the oven and it’s fully baked, all right.

Renovate Vanderbilt Stadium

Now, this does have a cost advantage over building from the ground up, and it might be something you can accomplish over an off-season. But maybe not. Part of the problem with this idea is that just renovating the place would mean you still have to leave some of the worst parts of the stadium (like the exterior) in place. On the other hand, the cost savings would mean that you can spend for other badly-needed facility upgrades.

Half-Baked or Fully-Baked? This one’s fully-baked, too.

Do Nothing

Why did we tell David Williams to retire, then?

Half-Baked or Fully-Baked?

Basically, the options here are renovate the stadium or blow it up and rebuild it from the ground up. There is no reason to move off campus, and really no particular reason to move off the Dudley Field site. If you have to ask if an idea is half-baked, it probably is.

Glad we could help. Anchor Down.