FORT WORTH, Texas—When asked for an update on TCU’s stadium renovation project fundraising, TCU coach Gary Patterson declined to give a percentage of funds pledged. He said until the deal is signed and sealed, nothing is to be taken for granted.
“When you’ve dated a girl for three years and you’re getting ready to ask her to marry you, will she say I do? Will we get it completed?” Patterson said. “That’s what the key is. It doesn’t matter how far along we are, as long as it gets done.”
That’s not to say the project is in jeopardy, Patterson just seemed anxious to get the renovations done. He speaks passionately about wanting to create a stadium that speaks to both the university and the history of the city it calls home.
“If we complete it, it’ll be a great thing for TCU, it will be a great thing for Fort Worth and for all the community,” Patterson said. “It’s going to tell a story not only about football, but about the history of Fort Worth.”
He said there were plans for an area where the fans could see the streets of downtown Fort Worth as they were in the past, as well as a founders area that will highlight some of the larger donors’ contributions to the city and its history.
“It’s going to tell about the wildcatters, it’s going to tell about the cattle drives, it’s going to have something to do with all of Fort Worth,” Patterson said. “Those people, those visionaries, those founders that have helped us to get to that point [of building a modern facility]… Those are the people you want to talk about. Because not only have they helped build TCU, a lot of those families have helped build Fort Worth.”
Athletic director Christopher Del Conte said the stadium would also represent the program’s future.
He reiterated he didn’t see TCU bolting for another conference, he thinks the stadium renovation is in the best interest of the athletic department and university as a whole in making sure TCU is best positioned for the future of college athletics, whatever it may be.
“It’s another brick in the foundation,” “That strengthens your appeal to potential students. It appeals to more recruits, to more fan amenities, to the entire community of TCU. It’s all part of the project, or the product if you will.”